Dad and I just dropped you off in your tiny, cramped little dorm room with its elevated bed, dresser tucked underneath, and the cold tiled floors. This will be the first time you will sleep in this new bed sharing a room with a complete stranger that I pray will become your friend in the coming months.

I was being very strong as we unpacked your boxes, made your bed, ran to the nearest Lowes Food and stocked up your snack bin. We had to say goodbye in the Lowes parking lot because we couldn’t make it near your dorm again with all the other “strong” parents as they dropped their babies off for the first day in their new beds. A very well run assembly line of volunteers and frantic parents.

As I hugged you tight I felt the warmth rush into my face. “Don’t cry” I said to myself as I pulled away and told you how much I love you. As we watched you walk away, I couldn’t help but see a four year old running to the nearest play structure at the park. You never looked back. You were excited to move forward. I wanted to hold you and never let you go!

I was even strong when we pulled away and began our three hour drive down the NC mountains. Your dad and I talked most of the way about little unimportant stuff. Every once in awhile, one of us would say, “Are you okay?’ I’d think, “Not now, but I will be.”

When we got home I went upstairs and went into your room. Just like when we dropped your three older brothers off before you, my heart hurt seeing the empty open drawers, clothes on the floor that you didn’t want to pack, yearbooks and pictures displayed around the room.

I don’t know what possessed me, but I started cleaning out the closet. Lots of too small clothes, old and worn hats, sleeping bags. I put everything in bags to go to Goodwill. Then I attacked the desk. I opened the drawers which were packed with baseball cards and papers and sheet music and pens. I saw honor roll awards left from your older brother’s high school years.

That’s when it happened. The flood gates opened wide and I began to bawl. Like a little baby. The tears flowed, even a loud sob snuck out without me being able to stop it. I’m glad no one was around. They would have thought something was really wrong.

WAIT!! Something is wrong. Time flew by while I was standing still. My babies have all grown up so fast and I’m not ready to let go yet.

Memories flash before my eyes so fast they’re like a blur. I can remember you as a toddler, running to me and I would scoop you up and give you a big hug. I remember your first day of kindergarten when the knapsack was bigger than you were. You were dressed in your best outfit, hair combed, standing very proud as you climbed the steps of the yellow school bus . You looked back and waved. My heart was breaking then, too.



And now, you are headed to a place that I can’t really go. How cool would it be if your mother came to lunch with you on campus? I will watch and cheer you on and pray for you. And I will let go. I am so proud of the man you are. I’m so excited to see what else is in store for you. I love you with all my heart, even if it is breaking a little bit.