My Sweet Boy,
Everything about you looked so big to me this morning. Those hands that used to barely fit around my finger nearly filled my entire hand as we walked down the hall. Those shoulders that used to hunch up against my chest seemed so broad as you proudly carried your new backpack. And those sweet brown eyes that used to spend hours scrunched in colicky anguish were round and bright and full of anticipation at what awaits you.
You had only a brief moment of hesitation before you ventured into your classroom. I saw the momentary uncertainty flash in your eyes as you let go of my hand. But I reached down and kissed your cheek, and I told you I’d stand out in the hall for a minute or two if you needed me. “I’ll be right here,” I whispered. That was all you needed–you bounded forward with confidence, never looking back.
This is as it should be. Your eyes should be ahead–watchful, ready to learn, eager to take in all life will bring you. My eyes are looking ahead too, realizing that this big step of independence you took this morning will be followed by many. Lost teeth, too-short jeans, a deeper voice and first dates…each bold step will take a you a step further toward manhood, and further away from me.
And with bittersweet joy in my heart, I tell you, my boy: Go. Step into each new life experience with the same eager expectation I saw on your face this morning. I trust the One who made you to steer you just where He would have you go. I can’t wait to see the man He will shape you into.
But when the adventure gets bumpy, whether it’s a skinned knee in kindergarten, a bruised ego in 5th grade or a broken heart in college, just point yourself toward home. I’ll be right here.
This post was originally published on August 17, 2006.