Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Letting Go

I try to always stay "on topic" in this blog but sometimes a diversion can't be helped.

A few weeks ago I brought my first born son to college for his freshman year. I still sit here and wonder where the time went. I have a photo on my desk of my then three month old boy looking over my shoulders as I hold him in my arms. He stares out at the viewer. So young and unsure of his world.  In the photo I also have the ever present towel under his head on my shoulder. My friend Ed who worked with us dubbed him the "yakinator." So you know why I always had the towel when I held him.

Forget the image of a beautiful newborn. My oldest came out looking like a shriveled up old man. Of course that quickly changed to the boy and now man I know but he will forever be my "little man" because of how he started.

Being in the children's book field was a "cool" job to have according to my two sons. I got to read my books in their Kindergarten classes and draw for them.

Both boys are avid athletes. Both started in soccer, which is my own favorite sport, and evolved into tennis players. Although I didn't love the early trips on Saturday mornings to far away towns, I always loved standing on the field and watching them play.

I remember when I was walking with my eldest on a soccer field before a game and someone was running up from behind us. They yelled, "Hey Dinardo" and I instinctively assumed they meant me. But of course it was for my son. I was the spectator now.

I got to drive my son down to Dickinson College in PA. I was hoping for some good quality time together to discuss life and give him my deep heartfelt advice. But he sat in the car most of the way with headphones on and his face buried in his computer screen. He was dealing with his own thoughts on leaving his friends and home.

As I drove away I knew he would be fine. His mother and I gave him a great foundation. I know he'll make mistakes. We all do. But I never thought the time would go so fast and I would see my "little man" moving off on his own.

But I'll be here whenever he needs me and although he is taller than me, I think my shoulder will still hold him.

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