We spent the day last Wednesday in Tuscaloosa at The University of Alabama.
This was our second college visit. The first one, to a much smaller school, didn’t capture you quite the way this one did. Truth be told, you were already sold on UA before we ever arrived. I watched you walk around campus with the same eyes I watched you take your first steps with, seeing the excitement and determination in your own. You are more than ready for this new beginning. This trip was really more for me than it was for you. This was the beginning of letting go for me.
I’m not ready for this beginning because I’m not ready for the other beginning’s ending.
From the day you were born, I’ve been living beginnings and endings with you. First words and firsts steps ushering you out of babyhood into the toddler years. Each day another step towards independence. Preschool and kindergarten preparing you for elementary school. All bringing new adventures and new friends. We navigated the middle school years and entered high school. You’ve always had a strong sense of direction and a conviction to do the right thing. For yourself and for others. I’ve watched you forge friendships that will stay with you the rest of your life. And in this, your senior year, I’ve watched you embrace and fully live this experience. You are ready for this chapter to end with graduation and the next to begin with enrollment into college. I’ve seen glimpses of the man you are becoming and couldn’t be more proud of you.
I’m not ready for this beginning because I’m not ready for the other beginning’s ending.
But there’s nothing I can do to stop it…not that I really want to. How do you adequately prepare for endings and new beginnings? I’ve done it several times before, yet it’s not any easier. I have no words of wisdom, no words of comfort for this mama’s heart. With each son, it’s been a different kind of journey.
Your journey began on this day, November 17, 1997, a little after five in the afternoon. You’re 18 today. Where in the world have the years gone? How can we be here? Wasn’t it just yesterday that I was rocking you to sleep? Chasing after this adorable little boy. My baby boy.
Today marks a milestone for you. You stand on the edge of your greatest adventure. I still want to chase you, to guide you on this path. That job is done for the most part. It’s time for me to let go and let you embark on your new beginning. My prayer for you is that it’s everything you want it to be and more. My hope is that I’ve helped equip you to continue with the same integrity and conviction that you show every day. It’s time for you to shine.
Happy Birthday, Cameron! I’m so proud of you and I love you more than you could know…
“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”

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