Forgive Me If I Stare

Tomorrow, my baby goes to college.  It's so hard to believe.  

When my older son went to college, it was a milestone. My family started a new chapter of children spending most of the year elsewhere.  It felt like part of a piece of my life puzzle was missing but we reveled in his successes.  He is now a college graduate with a full time job and a grown up life.  We launched one.

Now, it's my younger son's turn to do what we have spent 18 years teaching him to do - be independent and find his life.  There's something different about sending him to college.  He has pointed out a few times that this time, my husband and I are really empty nesters.  Though his older brother is living here, he is an adult who is barely here and planning his final move out.  I will come home from work and no one will need anything from me.  There will be such quiet.

My mother likes to say that it is as it should be and for that, we have to be so grateful.  I know she is right.  When he was born, we imagined him growing up with maybe few bumps in the road and going to college someday.  Our dreams for him are coming true.  He is quite a young man and will have such a wonderful four years.  He will emerge an adult from the experience of being on his own.  He makes me proud every day and I can't wait to see what his life becomes.

I will only ask that he forgive me if I stare at him tonight or tomorrow.  I want to memorize the moment.  I want the picture of this young man with his whole future in front of him forever seared into my brain. I will put the picture right next to that of his brother on his first day of college.  Both images rest in my head next to the faces I memoized on the days they were born.  
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