Yesterday was one of those days that will eventually happen to most of us as parents. The day when you realize that your child is really out on his/her own, and probably won’t be living at home anymore. Jacob started college last August, so he hasn’t officially lived at home in almost a year (for anyone who doesn’t know him or hasn’t seen him in a while, he’s the nut in the middle). He’s spent the beginning of the summer in an apartment with other kids from school, but that wasn’t a permanent arrangement; he was “saving a place” there for a kid who was home for the summer and would be back for the fall. Yesterday, however, he and three friends moved into a house smack in the middle of downtown. They have a really good arrangement – a four bedroom/two bath house with a wooded backyard. It is an older house, but has been fairly well-maintained; the kitchen has new hardwood flooring and a new refrigerator, and the other appliances look practically new. It has just been repainted and the carpets look new or at least recently cleaned.

Jacob spent the night here Monday night. Now that he no longer lives at home, he is like a celebrity. His visits generate the same kind of enthusiasm at our house as a Beatles’ concert during the British Invasion. He was glad to be home, but really anxious to show us the house. Bryan, Lily, and I were the only ones who made the trip to deliver him and his belongings; we had to take all but one of the bench seats out of the van in order to fit his bed, desk, and the rest of his stuff (gotta love the capacity, if not the gas mileage, of that fifteen-passenger van!). He has his own bedroom with a sleigh bed on loan from our cousin, Laura. His housemates are boys who have been his friends for years. They are obviously beyond thrilled about starting this new chapter in their lives.

I do have one very special prayer request: The house is 1.75 miles from the train station that Jacob will take when going to work (shift manager at Caribou Coffee – no more Waffle House!), etc. He has a bike and is in very good shape, however, I am concerned for his physical safety. Although it is in the shadow of buildings housing some of the world’s largest corporations, it looks like it could be a fairly treacherous 1.75 miles, especially at night. I asked his friends with cars not to let him ride his bike home from the train station after dark, but to please drive down and pick him up. They jokingly said they wouldn’t let him ride his bike – he could walk. I’m just hoping they aren’t all so young and invincible that they don’t take the dangers seriously; they buried a friend less than a month ago. As a mom, that’ something I just can’t shake: that reminder of how everything can change in just a moment’s time. Please say a prayer for my baby, which he’ll always be, even if he is twenty years old.

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