In two days, my wife and I take our son to MSU for his first year of college. He will be living in a dorm and away from home for the first time. Already, the memories flood my mind. Where did the time go?
I've always known this day was coming but never did I imagine that eighteen years would pass by so quickly. Seems just yesterday that we brought him home from the hospital. So little and helpless. Then, before we knew it, he was toddling around the living room with his little football wanting me to wrestle and tackle him.
He was an adventurous young boy at the park, often climbing on the monkey bars and jungle gym equipment and making me hold my breath when he'd get higher than what I wanted him to. But he'd safely climb his way back down. Oh, the days for Happy Meals at McDonald's and the Playland tunnels where he never wanted to leave. Once I had to climb through those tight tunnels and get him because he thought if he hid at the top, we wouldn't have to go.
His aptitude to identify and learn words came easily. He read words off flash cards at age three. Then came preschool where he was quick to make friends. Good friends. And when he entered first grade at my Alma Mater, he made new friends. He had good teachers that made learning fun, and he discovered new subjects that have kept his interest all these years.
He learned to swim quickly and like a fish, he loves the water. There were the glory days of Little League Baseball and basketball. Hiking, fishing, and rock climbing. The Giant Corn Maze in Huntsville. Six Flags. Camden Park. King's Island.
We've had many pets--mice, rats, snakes, spiders, chickens, ducks, frogs, turtles, dogs, and cats--over the years. Our mini-zoo. Like his parents he loves science.
I have so many memories and mental photos that I treasure. And now, my little boy is a man. He's grown and matured into a wonderful person that I am so proud of. I am honored that he is my son. And yet, I have to wonder how eighteen years crept past me at such a rapid pace. In some ways, it seems like I blinked and here we are.
Son, study hard and do well. We love you, and we're always here for you.