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From Shoelessness To College Freshman: My Son

I've been pretty quiet on the blog as of late. Life has truly gotten in the way. But I make no apologies because my life informs this blog. And I've been going through A LOT of life as of late. The beauty of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even Google+ is that they allow you to document life events on the fly. If you do it often enough over a short window of time you will see a storyline emerge. To tell what I've recently been through as one fluid piece with every single detail is to write a novel, or at the very least a novella. What follows is my summarized documentation of one of the most important experiences in my life as a father --- seeing my son off for his freshman year of college:

Friday, August 9

Please forgive the silence but this dad and husband is up to his eyeballs in it: a son heading to college for his freshman year, a daughter who just started going back to school, visits home to check on aging parents, an increasing role at work, landing a speaking engagement, working to be as transparent as possible as a husband, staying in shape, car issues...this should all sound familiar and I don't want a cookie I'm just asking for your patience with the silence on this page and the blog. Stay tuned things will be back to normal soon. THANKS!

Wednesday, August 14

Spending a lot of time reflecting and praying as I hit the road tomorrow with my family to drop my son off to school for his freshman year of college. At first I was excited for the change, but today it hit me like a bag of bricks that as of next week my house is going to be missing one oh so essential person.

Thursday, August 15

Update #1:

And away we go!

Update #2:

Earlier today in the rented minivan before hitting the road for college! Now sitting on Canal Street in New Orleans eating apple pie a la mode and chatting up with the soon to be son/man/friend.

Friday, August 16

Been up since 5:30 am for the son's 8am dorm check-in. Set up the room. Met the roomie. Bought books and souvenirs and headed back later to network. My feet hurt and I've only had one beignet as food for the day. It's time to eat.

Saturday, August 17

Update #1:

Yesterday's move-in day to the freshman dorm went off without a hitch. The welcome committee cheered us on and helped carry the boy's stuff to his room. We met his roommate and his parents, bought books and lots of souvenirs and snacks. We networked with some administrators and I even bumped into a college classmate of mine who is dropping off her child for her freshman year also. The day went so well my son decided to stay on campus last night. That was tough. But it's a part of growing up --- for him and me.

Update #2:

‪#‎Xavier‬, ‪#‎xula‬, freshman family weekend, I never thought this day would come, not because it couldn't but I just was incapable of understanding what it would look or feel like. I realize that my love and pride for my son runs much deeper than I thought it did. 'nuf said. Gushing over.

Monday, August 19 (3:30am)

I am finally home after a long, long drive from Louisiana. I thought "goodbye" was going to be tearful or maybe even tragic. Goodbye, as in "see you at Thanksgiving, son." But it was business as usual with my newly minted college Freshman. Silly pictures, ridiculous sarcasm and lots of laughs. Sure the emptiness comes and goes in powerful waves. The wondering if I did enough. The hope that I did and the doubt that I didn't. And the emptiness that is in his room in our home. Going into the weekend I was sad. But now I am happy and inspired. Happy for my son and all the opportunity that lies before him and happy to be able to give him as a gift to the world. I am inspired to be all that I can be and even more as a father to him in this new phase of his life.

There was a time when I didn't believe I'd live to see 21 thanks to the people dying around me and now twenty years later I have a son in college. I hope and pray his light shines brighter and longer and better than mine ever will. I am so humbled, so thankful and so filled with praise for the Most High. May His many blessings continue to pour out on all of us trying to raise our kids during such turbulent and high-priced times.

In the subsequent days, all I've had is a smile on my face and a fondness in my heart for the once shoeless boy, the up and coming man I am so so proud to call my son.

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