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My husband just showed me the slide show he put together of our teenager for his upcoming bon voyage party, and it took my breath away. Pictures of our boy as a toddler on the beach, pole vaulting last year, at age eight skateboarding in a handstand instead of on his feet, at the prom, hugging his sister and brother at a kid’s birthday party, on my lap as a baby, playing guitar on stage, standing next to me in his tuxedo, swinging a bat at little league, in his cub scout uniform, graduating high school, in front of the Coliseum in Italy, shaggy headed at a jazz band performance in middle school, and on and on, all overlaid with a soundtrack of him singing classic rock songs! Waaaaa! It was all so fast, this growing up in our house thing that just happened. How can it be that we walked through all those days and all those nights, and counseled him every day of his life to this point? And now we send him off for a year, essentially on his own, filled with the lessons we gave him, intentional or not, hopeful that he will draw on our time together to keep himself safe and offer himself as an American ambassador.

The pictures remind me of all that we have shared and all that we have lived through together, and seeing them flash before me gives me the sense that I just want to do it all again. Even the tough stuff. It was that sweet.