Today is a celebration of our youngest son, Nate. He has left our home, which is quite normal at his age. But, his mission is a noble one of serving our country.
Our older son had taken off work, so he, our daughter and Nate could eat breakfast together "one last time". After breakfast and Nate's last minute packing, our children and I sat in their Dad's study, one last time. And I saw Nate tear up and look away several times. I knew I was not going to make it without shedding a few myself.
As I took him to the recruiting office where he was to meet others for his ride to Indianapolis, I off-handedly remarked that he probably would not miss our small town. To my surprise, he said he had enjoyed growing up in the Mid-West, not because of the location, but because of the friends he had made. He said he would miss them. I was proud that he valued his friends and that his view of 'location, location" was "where his heart was". We have always tried to impart "family values" and relational priority.
At the recruiting station, he told me that he didn't want me to go in. He said he was in the Army now, underscoring his independence from "his Mom". I got out and he hugged me so tight and didn't even look my way, as he picked up his bag to walk away. I felt my heart torn, but I drove away giving him room to "grow", and take flight.
As he said, "I will miss the people, the friends I have made". And we will surely miss him.