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Leaving Home

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Leaving Home On the surface it was just like any other hot August day in Nashville, but for me it was a day with mercurial-like emotions ranging from the high of the excitement about my son's departure, to a mid-level of nostalgia and memories, and finally to a low of sadness and emptiness. My first born, my son, having reached 18 years of age was leaving home. He was going to college. This particular morning Todd was very much on my mind as I arose early to help him get packed and ready to go. I was not expecting this to be an overly emotional day, yet the memories overwhelmed me. I remembered the first day his mother and I dropped him off at kindergarten and how we too felt strange and overly concerned and sad; I remembered his Bar Mitzvah when he stood before his family, friends, and community at the tender age of thirteen and recited with perfection his portion of our Holy Scripture, thereby entering Jewish adulthood. ...read more.


Instead, I cried. Friends and family will tell you I cry easily, and while that is true, this was one of those cries which come from deep within. My understanding son sat quietly knowing he could do nothing and patiently waited until I finished. Finally, I said I was ready and without saying another word, we left our house and got into the car. Now, lest you think I was taking my son to the Nashville Airport to have him fly to his new environment across the country, or that I was driving him to his destination hours away from home, let me explain that I was not. I was merely driving him to his dormitory six miles from my home and less than 100 yards from my office. You see, I was taking my son to Vanderbilt University to begin the first four years of his college education. Driving home alone that evening and in a pensive mood, I remembered friends recall their emotions as they took their children to school or sent them off for four weeks of summer camp for the first time. ...read more.


How would I spend my day when there were no children to cook for and feed, to entertain or teach. What or who would take their place in my life? Doesn't all this really mean I am getting a little older, not needed quite so much anymore? Todd has a younger brother, Tommy, and a sister, Catherine, so I was not so lonely when he left after all, and my life really didn't change much. I knew I would go through this again with Tommy's departure the following year. Only next time, there would be a little more understanding for what I was feeling. I would understand that Tommy, and eventually Catherine, like Todd, would leave home and never really return except for the usual forays children make after they move out and that they and I would be the better for it, for it proves we are luckily alive, changing and growing. After all, that's what life is all about. The thing called that we see is all around us and people and see what they are up 2 ...read more.

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