19 years and 21 days ago, Our son Blake came into our lives. Today he started college. Whether you’ve had that experience or not, it’s a big step.
Here’s my take:
I cried a little the day before Blake graduated from high school. Today didn’t hit me as a cry day. It seems like there’s just too many amazing opportunities and too much excitement. It’ll definitely be adjustment time for all of us as this new normal sets in. For now, though, it’s nothing but grand life opportunities ahead.
I’ve wondered about whether he is ready for life. There’s still a lot of growing and learning left to do. I believe he’s ready for this step, though. I saw a glimpse of God telling me “he’s going to be alright” during a recent whitewater kayaking trip a few weeks ago.
When it comes to true whitewater, we’re both relative newbies. We decided to take our boats out late in the afternoon and make a run. It didn’t take long for me to roll my boat and have to get out in the middle of the river. It’s an eye opening experience to be in that position, trying to keep up with a kayak, a paddle, keep your head above water, all while working as hard as you can to get out of the current.
When I finally recovered… I looked around for Blake, who is an infinitely better paddler than I am.
I glanced down the river and finally saw him, about 100 yards away, in about the same condition as I had been. It hit me at that moment that there was literally nothing I could do to help him… he was on his own… with only our previous training and a life vest I bought him to help.
I pulled my boat out of the water… ran to the car and drove down river to try and catch him. I found him, only a few minutes later, pulling his kayak up from the river, looking like a wet rat, but smiling ear to ear. As we gathered up our gear and assessed bumps as bruises, it struck me, again, that Blake is going to be just fine.
We’ve done about all we can for him at this point. His Mom and I couldn’t be any more proud of the young man he’s become. All parents say that… none mean it more than we do.
We believe we’ve given him life preservers of all shapes and sizes… and we think he’s ready for most of the whitewater rapids that are downriver from here. He’ll probably hit a roller every now and then but that’s just life. He’ll be able to get to the shore and dry off if he needs to.
And that’s what we do for kids. We owe it to them to give them our best. I certainly got more than I deserved from my parents when I was trying to figure out this thing called life… and now we’ve pushed our first out, off the shore, and into the current.
It’s a push of Faith but we know God’s in control.
His room at home will be quiet for a while, and that’ll take some getting used to… but oh how sweet Thanksgiving will be this year!
We’ll have a college student home to visit! And off we go… to the next chapter.