". . . little shall I grace my cause

In speaking for myself. Yet, by your gracious patience,

I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver . . ."

(William Shakespeare's Othello, I.iii.88-90)

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

A Week of Goodbyes

My son is about to graduate from college. I was talking to him a few days ago and it hit me that as we prepare to have him come home for the summer and prepare for the next phase of his life (grad school!), he is in the process of leaving an entire world behind. For four years now he has spent the majority of his days in a different city in a different state. He has built a whole life there, going to classes, making friends, working, and attending church. He will spend this week saying goodbye to all of it.

So often as parents we look at our kids as extensions or reflections of ourselves. When they are little, we experience everything with them. As they grow, they do more and more on their own. But while they are still living at home we at least get daily reports and see them frequently enough to keep pretty close tabs on the landscape of their lives.

But then they move away. And sometimes days pass when we don't directly communicate with them. They handle more and more on their own. They experience things, small and large, that we will never even know about. That is as it should be, and is something I knew intellectually but was reminded of in a more profound way as my son shared with me his plans for his last week at school. I was focused on the beginnings: the beginning of summer, the beginning of his graduate school career, the beginning of the rest of his life. But before all those beginnings, there is an ending.

God bless your week of goodbyes, Trevor. And thank you, city of Lincoln and University of Nebraska, for being such a good place for my young adult to build his first adult life.

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