Note: This post was first published in NorthHaven’s August 2016 newsletter.
Google Maps indicates that it is exactly 1,705 miles from Norman, Oklahoma to Boston, Massachusetts. Seriously, that kind of mileage sounds like a very long distance for two parents saying goodbye to their oldest son. At the end of August, Missy and I will drop off our oldest at Emerson College in downtown Boston. For almost 19 years, Cole’s jovial presence in our home has brought an uncompromising peace and an infectious laughter to our lives.
As his father, it is still so very difficult for me to believe that the toddler who used to hide behind my leg when we entered church is running off to a major American city to study comedic arts. This is the same little boy who asked me one Sunday, “Daddy, is there something wrong me? Everyone keeps saying I’m ‘bashtabble.’” Missy and I could not be more proud of the young man our son has become. We know our boys are not perfect, but we love them tremendously and appreciate what it must have been like for them growing up as the sons of a preacher.
For my sons, I remember the voice of King David, as he hoped and prayed for his sons. In his Pilgrim’s Psalm (#132), David wrote, “If your sons stay true to my Covenant and learn to live the way I teach them, Their sons will continue the line—always a son to sit on your throne.” As my oldest son leaves to carve out his own way in the world, my hopes and prayers go with him. His mother and I have instilled our thoughts and faith as best we can. They are his to take and do with as he sees fit, but we will always pray for our boys no matter the distance and no matter the season.
1705 miles is a great distance between two parents and their child, but our love and prayers will shorten that distance over time. And speaking of time, there is only 1353 days until Cole graduates, but who’s counting? Please show Missy and I a little more grace this month as we may seem a little preoccupied or depressed. In the end, we are overjoyed for our son and can’t wait to see what he achieves. 1705 miles is a long way from home, but worth every mile for the journey he about to take.