|And they're off.|
A huge emphasis is placed, in our culture, on the job of parenting little ones, with magazines, countless books, etc., on the topic. The same attention isn't given at the other end, when kids leave the nest. This is probably because the process is so much less controllable and uniform: some kids go to college, which seems the easiest route on parents of our socio-economic class (and maybe also on our kids), providing a relatively smooth transition from the dependence of childhood into the independence and responsibility of adulthood; others flounder for a year or more without direction; and still others have something specific that they want to accomplish outside of the realm of school. Alex is in the last class of kids. He's driven to make a life in Denver, coaching dirt jumping and making a go at being a professional cyclist. I'm proud of him for making the leap; I know that I didn't have anywhere near the same level of guts when I was his age. But it's also scary as a parent to watch your kid drive away, knowing you won't be seeing him for quite a while, and that in the mean time he's going to have to be providing for himself. You also realize the level of attachment that you have toward your family. What Jen and I have constructed in our family is the best thing in my life, and it's hard to accept that it's now changed for good. On the other hand, this is what is supposed to happen, so it's a reason to rejoice.
Yesterday, we drove to Fairmont with Alex and his girlfriend Lindsey. Grandma Sally bought us all breakfast, and then we said good-bye. It was hard to do, but awesome - go Alex!
|The family at Fairmont.|
|Bardsley men at the Bike Doctor at Alex's Going Away Party.|
|Alex and Ellie|
|Another family shot with Lindsey.|