Today’s the day. We are leaving our oldest child at college today. I’m trying not to be too sentimental, but yet I am sentimental.

It seems like yesterday when Elliot was born, and then he turned 3, then 12, then 16, and now he’s graduated high school (Taco Truck party, here), and off to college.

He’s been a joy and a bright spot in our family – enthusiastic and full of life. It seems like Elliot always has had a “good word” for me as a Mom. We will miss him, but we also rejoice in new adventures ahead. After all, isn’t that the goal of parenting? To raise secure, confident kids, ones who will hopefully make it on their own?

I came across a beautiful piece of writing that my husband wrote about Elliot, from 1995, saved in Elliot’s Memory Binder.

With the school year starting, I’ve had many requests for the link on saving your children’s memories – in an easy, inexpensive way. You can visit the post, HERE.

Today we leave Elliot at college … life moves so quickly, it is scary. But I am thankful for my son and that God gave him to our family.

Seeing Elliot 3/22/1995

Today at the intersection by our home, I waited for the light to turn. Sandy, my wife, came through before me, moved slowly, honked and waved. And in the back seat was Elliot, who’s turning 3.

He waved, too. His wave was new. Older, calm.

She passed before me, and from the hum of my engine I heard the future hum. Here was Elliot passing by in the symbol of progress, our white Mazda 626. His grown-up face struck me. He is becoming one of us. Social, polite, wishing to get along. Assimilating. He is a blood cell, drifting from the capillary, trying to enter the main artery, the mainstream.

And of course, as usual, I fear for him. He will live in a culture that laughs at virtue, then feigns shock when people turn trader on their family and friends. A place where materialism is cheese on the devil’s mousetrap. By people who will try – over my dead body – to steal his innocence, telling him it serves no purpose. It’s easy to give in to this apocalyptic vision.

He is growing up too fast. How many times has that been said? And how about this: Yes, I admit, I think he’s special. So full of esprit and other French words I don’t know but know they describe the nuances of the soul, the way tulips change during a fussy and brooding evening.

He waved to me the way others do. Calm, commonplace. Social mooing. Cows on the prairie, heads down, grunting nicely between bites of turf and straw.

I’ll see him wave when he boards the bright yellow school bus. When he scores his first goal. When he gets his car, graduates, perhaps even serves in a war. When he leaves our home, belly full, on a summer night. I see myself in a short sleeve cotton shirt sticking to my back as he tells us about the woman he’s going to marry.

These waves will wound me as they did today, kisses that draw me near but push me away. An invitation and a warning.

I hope he’ll always wave to me.

Paul Coughlin (Elliot’s Daddy)

One thing we are really going to miss is Elliot’s music. The piano will just have to sit for a while … (Playing with his sis at school.)

I’m also thankful that home is … home.

(The 5 winners of the Beauty & Wellness Bootcamp tickets have been contacted. Thanks to everyone who entered.)

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