We have all run across a picture like this one while going through family albums. Looking at such an ordinary scene most would make a cursory effort to identify the individual then put it aside and search for the more interesting scenes. For others looking at this photo they wonder why such a seemingly ordinary photo was taken? What is the story behind the picture?
Only a few moments before my youngest, Joshua, shook my hand, gave his mother a final hug goodbye and turned to walk back to his new home on the campus of James Madison University. It marked the end of the beginning.
My role as a parent is coming to an end. At this moment the realization comes that my relationship with my son has forever changed. I will no longer scold or become angry with him. I can only be disappointed. I will no longer be happy for him. I will be proud of him. For he now controls his destiny and I am a bystander. Offering support and advise when asked but the final decisions will rests with him.
And as my son walked away I also have to admit being a bit envious. I remembered a similar moment in my life. The feeling of apprehension and exhilaration as one steps off to create a life of their own.