Oh John-John and Baby-Ku, my boys, my precious sons, it is time to go.
In 72 hours we will help you move into the dorms.
Nothing will ever be the same.
Your absence in our halls will be deafening.
But you need to go.
You have brought us so much joy and yes, so much heartache.
The days of worry will not cease. The days of loving you will never end. Still, you need to go.
Man-babies. I remember so many things about your childhood that make me smile. There are many things that make me sad. I wish I had done a better job.
I wish I had yelled less and laughed more. But, my time is up, and you need to go.
And I cried as I bought sheets for your dorm room. And I sat in my car and bawled my grief to God, to pick your new roommates and professors, and please keep you safe. I blew my nose, wiped my eyes, reapplied my mascara and went and bought you deodorant and toothpaste fully confident, you need to go.
I have said it before; you have to go in order to do that which we raised you to do. You can’t stay here. 100 years ago you’d be land owners with 7 kids of your own. But in this world, the standard was that we kept you close, we guided you longer, and we have sheltered you far beyond that which might be appropriate.
Go and see and do things that you hoped and dreamed you would do. Make mistakes, live with the consequences. Call us for advice, if you need us we will answer. But, you’re on your own now. I fully relinquish you to your wisdom and your folly.
This was the goal.
The first time I held you I didn’t have any idea you’d each be over 6’2” and hairy, but now as I look up at you I know; I brought you into this world for a much greater purpose than I could have imagined. And I want you to leave.
I want you to succeed and I want you to fail.
Failure is an option. When you fail I pray you learn. And more than learn, I pray you cry out to the God that we taught you about. The God of my heart will truly become the God of your heart when He is your only hope.
And I know, as long as you cling to your mommy and your mommy clings to you – you don’t need Him nearly as much as you will need Him when you go.
Get out and do and see and be fabulous. Be nice. You are both so nice. And that word seems so simple, but it is true of you each. You are nice. You have always looked out for the little guy. You have always been kind to those less fortunate. And my prayer is that niceness stays with you and outside the confines of these walls you are nice to the point of breaking. Go serve, never expecting to be served. Go love, expecting nothing in return.
Be great, and expect no accolades.
Be heroic, and expect no one to notice.
We were here to encourage you and praise your every achievement. Hopefully we didn’t go over-board; hopefully you know the real reward. Work for more than a paycheck or advancement. Work for the greater good.
But go, and work.
I have missed cuddling with you for a long time. Yes, I agree it is creepy for me to love on you, you with your millennial beards and muscled frames. And I have grieved the times you needed me most and wanted my affection.
But I will not grieve that you grew into young men with conviction, courage, work ethic, and hearts with purpose and a desire to make change come; men of God.
Have fun, but not too much. Work, and don’t forget to rest. Stress, and learn to cope with it. Succeed without becoming labeled by your successes. Fail, and never settle there. Pray and mean it. Seek and you will find. Knock and He will answer.
And please, don’t forget who you are, where you came from, and how very much I love you… my boys, little sugar bums. Eat your veggies, don’t cuss, or stay up too late. I miss you already.
May your floors be sticky (but clean up after yourself) and your calling be ordained. Love, Mom
Proverbs 3:3-4 (NASB) “Do not let kindness and truth leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good repute in the sight of God and man.”