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They grow up too fast
My son started Kindergarten today. :(
This morning I watched my 5 year old son Lane climb onto the school bus for his first half day of kindergarten. Entrusting this precious delicate being, who means the world to me, into the hands of strangers was overwhelming. I recognize that many of you reading this have experienced this profound moment, some even multiple times.
It hit me hard today.
Lane handled this new adventure like a champion. He jumped on the bus eagerly and said his daily mantra to the bus driver: “My name’s Lane and I’m happy to be here!” The handoff went so well that I didn't cry when the bus picked him up and I thought the moment had passed without me getting emotional.
But later that morning, as I went on a run with my friend Jonah, the weight of the moment finally caught up with me. After our run, we sat on our patio overlooking the lake, talking about our philosophies on life, our insecurities, and our goals. It was a beautiful moment.
Jonah is a filmmaker and he mentioned that he had just completed a film that he wanted to share with me. We sat on the patio in the rain watching the film on his iPhone as he wiped away the raindrops that were accumulating on the tiny screen.
The film was incredible. It’s a powerful and beautiful piece about his own childhood, a nostalgic journey back to the days of innocence and wonder. To me, the film was about a young man appreciating all the steps that got him to where he is today.
As I watched, I couldn't help but notice the uncanny resemblance between young Jonah and Lane. The same spark in their eyes, the same mischievous grin.
Tears welled up as I thought of Lane growing up, of the inevitable distance that time brings. I thought of all the moments I might miss, all the memories yet to be made. I just wanted to freeze time and not have him grow up or leave me ever again.
But I was reminded, "Life is a shipwreck," said Voltaire, "but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats." And in that moment, I realized that being a father is not about holding on, but about letting go. It's about cherishing every moment, every laugh, every tear, and trusting that the love we've instilled in our children will guide them through the storms of life. And that hopefully, that love will lead them back to us.
Today, I made a silent promise to myself and to Lane. I vowed to be present, to celebrate the small moments, and to always remember that while the days may be long, the years are indeed short. For in the end, it's not the milestones that matter, but the journey we take together.
Today I share with you this amazing film from my friend Jonah Brown. He’s a filmmaker, a Spartan, and someone I’m proud to know. He is doing amazing things in this life and I’m certain he will do many more.
Enjoy… But get a box of tissues.