adventure, family, parenting

And He’s Off

My Aliyah baby left the house today for life’s next stage.

After graduating high school, it’s time for him to spread his wings a bit and enjoy learning further afield.

He thinks, as the third child, that the change is no big deal to us.

That we’ve done this already with two others and we will just see this as copy, repeat.

But there is no copy, repeat with children.

No change ever feels easy, repetitive, perfunctory.

No past goodbyes make the present one any easier.

If only they did, I’d be an old pro.

While quiet and difficult to draw out, he’s also the funniest of our children.

He makes us all laugh with his timing, wit and goofiness.

He’s had a lot of hurdles to jump through.

And he’s approached each of them with a quiet reserve, a determination, and humor – always humor.

And friends…so many friends pouring into our home through the years, and particularly last summer as he struggled with another hurdle.

We will miss their absence as well.

He rarely communicates his feelings, his thoughts, his pain.

And so it was that much more impactful when, last week, he presented us with a huge poster that said, “Thank you! 1 Year.” And then I looked closer and saw that it had been created from the packaging for his medicine. The medicine that he can both resent having to take, and feel deep gratitude towards. I had noticed the containers piling up in his room, and I almost went to throw them out. But something stopped me, and it was a good thing that it did.

I looked at this poster, this silver, glittering poster, with tears streaming down my face and thanked him for a gift more beautiful than he could possibly imagine. I thanked him for allowing us to help him through this year as best we could. And I asked his forgiveness for anything we might have gotten wrong.

And I told him that we look forward to watching him fly and grow in the year ahead.

And now, now it’s time.

And he’s off.

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