When They Leave The Nest

When They Leave The Nest

No one prepared me for this. My eldest son, in just 21 days, four hours and about 15 minutes, is leaving for college. And I am a mess. My eldest son, Tim, has admittingly always been a “daddy’s boy”…and I have loved that about him. From the time he was little, maybe 2 years old, he has followed me around and wanted to be by me at all times. He would cry when I would go out to feed the dog without him. When he was 26 months old, I took him on his first duck hunt (wrapped in a sleeping bag in the blind) and we have hunted, fished, and been together since.

Tim has matured into an incredible young man. He is kind, humble, and so talented in so many areas. He loves his Mom and his brothers so well…and his Dad too. I sometimes catch myself watching him when we are in a group as he interacts with adults. He looks them in the eye, makes them feel heard, and always has that incredible smile on his face. It’s not lost on me how blessed I am to call him, my son.

That’s what makes this so tough. I think for the majority of parents its tough when a child leaves, but they are also looking forward to the “empty nest.” I’m not. I am brave enough to admit that I have had to pull over more than one time in the recent months when I let myself think about the departure day that is bearing down on me. I enjoy my sons. I love being a dad. And I love how full our house is tonight. Tim is such a big part of what makes our home what it is. Tim won’t just be heading to college, our home will be forever changed.

Like I said…no one prepared me for this. The only way I know how to process this is to turn to what I know is true. I trust Tim, and I trust the God that Tim and I both serve. Tim has done so much to demonstrate to his mom and I that he is ready…or as ready as one can be for all the world will throw at him. And after 26 years of walking with the Lord, my Father has shown me that He is trustworthy with what I value the most. He has never once let me down, mishandled my heart or left me disappointed.

So, on January 6, I will load up my truck with my son’s belongings, and head to his college. I will have the hope of a good God, and the confidence in my son’s character to help give me peace. But I assure you, I will not have packed enough tissue. I’m not just taking my son to college…I will be leaving a significant part of my heart on that campus. Pray for me…I will need it.