My oldest son left for a week yesterday. He’s vacationing with a friend and his family, people I really care about but don’t reach out to enough. I had tears in my eyes when he left, even though it isn’t “cool” to miss your teenager. (especially when it’s only for a week) He bring so much light and life to our house though. Nothing seems quite as vivid or bright when he’s not here even though he can be the most irritating person on earth at times. (can’t we all, really?) It’s a transition, one we’d hoped his younger brother would be able to make this year by going to camp. It didn’t work out, but it was a start. Our children start leaving us the day they are conceived, and as we move through life with them we constantly work at learning to say “goodbye.” It is a lesson my mother and father taught our family so well. They never held us back, never let fear keep us from having opportunities (like me going to Israel in college during the time the U.S. Marine barracks in Lebanon were bombed). I am so thankful for that. That ability to let us go, then welcome us back, meant everything. It is one of the most important lessons they taught me. I’m still learning it today.