It is 6:42 AM and my wife just rolled out of the driveway with my 9 year old son, Andrew. My eyes were still focusing to the waking hours of the day as we hugged, prayed and said our goodbyes. A storm passed by last night washing away the week as it added to an already palpable feeling of sadness.
My son is leaving.
Now, Andrew is 9 and he recently had his birthday at the end of January, and as a present, his grandparents decided to pay his way back east to visit his Aunt and Uncle and two cousins, who live in Maryland. Andrew is very adventuresome and jumped at the chance to fly with Grandpa and live with his cousins for a week. I, too, wanted to go, for a couple of reasons, most of which are selfish, but I could not. I just started a new job and taking 5 days off was not really an option when you have only been working for 2 months. I also don't like to fly. There is something about being stuck in a tube at 35K feet. Not my idea of fun, although I did a stint back in High School when I was part of the Civil Air Patrol and I loved to fly then. I think it has something to do with growing up.
The sadness started last yesterday as it always creeps up towards the end of the work day. Why, you might ask? Because each and every day, I expense my collected love and affection for my children to help see me through the day. Towards the end of the day, I am feeling depleted and I rush home to be with them. Ryan and his inquisitive youthful ways. Erica with her bundle of energy that could light up San Francisco on a Saturday evening. And lastly, Andrew with his intellect and thoughtfulness towards everyone else. That sounds odd. I know.
Andrew has grown up into such a young man and it was only yesterday that he was born; or we helped him walk; or he started reading; or he started critically thinking. Every parent will think that their child is special - that is every parent who is worthy of having a full and wonderful relationship with their children. To me, there are no brighter, more exciting brood of offspring than those that Cynthia and I pro-created.
I joked, many years ago, that each child was like a software revision. Andrew was Baby 1.0 and was born in 2000. But we developers found new programming enhancements and created Baby 2.0 with Erica. And even more efficiencies and a merging of our previously successful projects of Baby 1.0 and 2.0 were code merged into Ryan in 2005 with Baby 3.0. Yes - I am a nerd and proud of it.
But to see your child grow and stretch and learn and to have them be so fulfilled in a happy and healthy relationship with their parents, so much so that the departure of a single child for one night (much less than the 7 Andrew will be on), has such an impact is a true testament to our love; of our relationship.
I thank GOD every day for my blessings in life. Cyn and I have good jobs. We have a great support system with her father and mother. We do good things for our community and for our family. We experience the fullness of a good relationship with GOD and with our kids.
Father in heaven - watch over my son and father as they journey. May you make their journey filled with sights and wonders and may you walk with them, fly with them, and be with them and return them both safe to us at journey's end. Amen.
I should be happy... but the sadness is here now. It covers me like a blanket. I think I will go back to bed and pull the sadness over my head and just drift off.