We were piling back into the car after a whirlwind day. We had driven up to Dahlonega to tour the campus of University of North Georgia. My eighteen-year-old son, the youngest of my three children, asked, “Does this make you sad?”
“Yes, it makes me sad! I don’t want to be, but that’s part of it.”
I’m not sure if he will remember to eat three regular meals, brush his teeth, get to class on time, get all of his school work done, make new friends…and the list could go on. But he’s ready. Oh, he’s ready to be out on his own. And I’m ready in a lot of ways, to let him go.
On the way home, we stopped by Amicalola Falls. It brought back memories of visiting with my three children sixteen years before. We had tried to hike to the top, but ended up driving to the top instead. James, the youngest, was around two. I must have taken my eyes off of him for two seconds. I turned around and there he stood crying and dripping wet. He had fallen into the creek at the top! That was my James. He had to ride home in wet clothes. No big deal.
We took a lot of pictures throughout the day. The college was beautiful. We pulled over several times on the drive up to capture great shots of the mountain views. At the waterfall, we put the camera on the sports setting to get some crazy still photos of the water falling. At the end of the day, I downloaded the photos to my computer and was amazed at the drops of water caught in mid-air before falling to their destination.
There it was.
We got some good photos of us and some really great shots of James. But I kept looking at those shots of the waterfall…not falling, but stopped—frozen in a moment of time. How many photos have I taken over the past eighteen years that represented moments of time in my son’s life? Moments I wanted to hold on to. Thousands, I’m sure.
We don’t really want to stop a waterfall from doing what it was created to do. We just want to capture every little detail….and remember how happy it made us just to be a part of its beautiful journey.
"I love you, son. Don’t let me keep you from roaring into your future."