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The Circle of Life

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Captain_Kirk, Aug 20, 2011.

  1. Captain_Kirk

    Captain_Kirk Well-Known Member

    I’m not one to do a lot of personal stories on here, but I’m going to make an exception in this case due to the circumstances, the timing, and well, mostly a need to expound on my feelings.

    I read YGBFKM’s baby boy thread (congrats CB and YGBFKM, first and foremost) and it made me smile. The irony of their situation and mine---completely opposite situations in the lives of two families at either end of the parenthood spectrum.

    On the same day they were bringing their newborn bundle of joy home, I was trekking 4 hours to deposit my oldest as a college freshman into his dorm room. A rollercoaster of emotions that have been building since I watched his final basketball games in the spring of this year concluded on Friday: pride in the accomplishments and future prospects of a very good and bright young man, happiness in seeing him in an environment that will surely be a blast and a great period of growth…..and sadness in having to say good bye, even if only for short, temporary bursts of time, to someone who’s been a daily part of my life for the past eighteen years.

    Time to let go. And it is time, yet it’s so hard. Not a child any more, but not quite a man. We’ve prepared him the best we could, but we can’t be the every day safety net for him that we were here. And for that, I worry. All part of the growing up and maturing process, I understand. But, it doesn’t make it any easier.

    After we had packed up the car with much of his worldly belongings on Thursday night, all ready for the next day’s journey ahead, I grabbed a glass of wine and repaired to my deck for a few moments of reflection. Memories flashed through my mind, pictures so clear they seemed like yesterday: little league games, proms, pre-school Christmas pageants, driving lessons, a first hangover (he’s good, but not an angel), educating dear old dad on rap music while driving to and fro hoops practices, Disney World, trips to the beach, and on and on.

    The move out day itself goes well. Sure, the good byes were more than a little tough, but the day is such a bustle of activity and a focus on getting things arranged, it all goes by quite quickly. But, today as I step out into the pre-dawn morning to grab the local paper off the driveway, his car isn’t sitting in the familiar spot on the street, and the reality jolts a little too firmly for that time of the morning.

    And so tonight, as the sun sets over an Atlanta sky like it has for 18 years, the household that was 4 earlier this week is now 3. And a young man four hours away is headed to a local establishment to see the Ying Yang Twins, an act the old man has grown to like thanks to a young teacher sitting beside him in the front seat working the radio buttons.

    It’s been 18 years plus a little, since we brought our son home from a suburban Chicago hospital. And over those 18 years, we’ve experienced an infinite amount of joy. A payoff that is unrivaled and unmatchable.

    The heart is a bit heavy today, my friends. And for those of you with young ones, treasure every moment. Because, to paraphrase something William Nack once said about his most famous subject, they go too damn fast.
  2. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    So touching. Enjoy the wine and soak up the time with that third member of your family.
  3. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member


    You're way ahead of the game if your son would have anything to do with you while in high school.

    Let go of that worry -- it's not doing anything productive.

    Oh, and if it's the circle of life, be glad he wasn't eaten by hyenas.

    Take care.
  4. heyabbott

    heyabbott Well-Known Member

    We, too, just took our oldest to college as a freshman Wednesday. I told my daughter I remember the 1st night of her life like it was yesterday. It doesn't seem quick until the end, then it's a train rushing by.

    YGBFKM Guest

    Good stuff, CK. Talking about the emotions of letting go reminded me of this (hope the link works). I have a feeling your son feels much the same about his parents the way I do about mine.

  6. Turtle Wexler

    Turtle Wexler Member

    A little perspective there, Ace? :)
  7. Care Bear

    Care Bear Guest


    Your post is exactly why I'm pressuring Case in to not going to college. $20 for every F. $100 for every arrest. $200 if he gets linked on Drudge.

    Seriously, I loved and hated reading that. Thank you for the congrats and the heads up. Sounds like you raised a hell of a son.
  8. Captain_Kirk

    Captain_Kirk Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the link, YGBFKM. That was a really good read.

    Ace, I've warned him if he meets any girls named Ed, so I think we've got that covered.

    yab, the train reference is so very true.

    And, per usual, Care Bear makes me laugh like no one else on here can.

    And ijag, in a couple hours, I'll be taking son no. 2 out for his first driving lesson behind the wheel of the family car. The circle of life continues...
  9. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    *staying in her apartment for the day*
  10. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    My son graduated from college on Aug. 6, and aside from the huge, positive ramifications for me personally, this occurred to me:

    I will never watch/be part of another "kid" activity for one of my own again. No Little League, homework, rec league hoops (huge in my town, for both kids), high school sports, graduations, awards convocations, helping move into dorm rooms or apartments, college selection trips or orientations ... it's over. He interviewed for a job on Thursday and he might get it tomorrow, and she is a full-time teacher starting tomorrow. I don't count weddings and such -- those are adult things.

    That, plus my mom's departure in May, has me feeling very "Circle of Life"-ish as well.
  11. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    Bullshit. I'm moving Thursday and my mom's coming down to help. :D
  12. cranberry

    cranberry Well-Known Member

    Great thread. Here's what I just posted on the "newborn" thread:

    So, yeah, I'm kind of going through the same thing wondering where the fuck all the time went. It was magic while it lasted, though. The great part is knowing she's ready.
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