Learning to Let Go

Trips to Daddy’s in Highlands have a pattern. The way up is the hated trip on I-75 through Georgia–the Interstate that seems like it’s been under construction since I was a kid. The way back involves an overnight stop in Clemson at my aunt and uncle’s house on Lake Keowee (Aunt Lou’s B&B, we call it), then a loop up and over Greenville, down through Clinton so we can buzz my alma mater, Presbyterian College and grab some Whiteford’s Giant Burgers (a P College tradition!) for lunch, then home down I-26/95/4.

This trip, though, had one major difference. Instead of two drivers, we had three. Frick is not old enough to take the wheel. On the interstate. At high speeds. Gadzooks. My little boy’s growing up! Not that it wasn’t clearly evident, given that he’s approaching a foot taller than I am and has that lovely bass voice and all, but still…

The biggest change, though, was his morning request in Clemson. Instead of the usual “Where’s the bacon?” I got “Mom, I want to visit Clemson before we leave.” As in the University. As in admissions office. As in OMG my boy’s going off to college in two years and I’M NOT READY.

Clearly, he has no such problems. That’s Frick striding off confidently toward Tillman Hall, the landmark Clemson classroom building, after peppering that poor admissions officer with questions faster than the man could answer them, then deciding he needs to have a chat with the Army ROTC folks. So we weave through Johnstone Hall and find the cannon, then wait a bit to talk with the Major. Which Frick manages with aplomb, respect, and a nice-sized dollop of Southern male manners and charm. I can see the man he’ll become in there, and I like him.

It’s a beautiful thing to watch your baby grow up. It really does happen quicker than you know. So hug those babies–even if they’re ginormous and cranky teenagers, and teach yourself that it’ll be okay if you let go.

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