Today my nephew left the only home he's ever known to enter his Freshman year of college in Santa Barbara, CA. After a very full summer, with a new tattoo that we co-designed, and a recent trip to Minnesota for a family reunion under his belt, he had a party last night. His friends arrived to wrap up the summer, help send him off- and pack. I landed at the airport, got dinner, picked up my car and went over for a quick visit. It was a truly beautiful scene with his and his sister's friends, and their parents, there to enjoy their last night together... of this era.
My nephew has been blessed to grow up and bond with a group of boys since he was in preschool! It's quite amazing to see these young men now after a lifetime together in school, playing sports, traveling, playing... even staying connected while attending different high schools. There were other young men and women there as well who have come into the fold throughout the years. I can definitely appreciate this as I am blessed with friends from as early as 4 years old, preschool, grade school, high school, etc. on up until the present!
The other nice thing is that his younger sister, who's entering her Sophomore year of high school, and he are best friends. Their two groups of friends naturally blend into one beautiful, joyous and raucous laughter. I love how close and loving my niece and nephew have always been with each other and trust that their bond is forever.
Things will absolutely change in the home and in the dorms. One move and everyone is affected. There is no telling what will happen in their family, as there is no telling what will happen in the future for anyone. (With all due respect to the prophets and psychics out there.) I'm excited for him because I know he is excited for himself. He's an amazing person in so many ways and I'm very proud of him!
As I hugged him last night he had a big smile on his face. He looked at me and said, "Thank you for everything, Tio. I love you." I love my 18 year old nephew and I am honored to have been able to be there for him when I could.