There's a line from the Brad Paisley song "Anything Like Me" that has been stuck in my head all day. "I already dread the day. He's gonna hug his momma he's gonna shake my hand. He's gonna act like he can't wait to leave. But as he drives out, he'll cry his eyes out... If he's anything like me." Yesterday was hard day. Saying goodbye to us wasn't a big deal because we were going to see him 24 hours later... but saying goodbye to home and to his grandparents was another story... Especially since it may very well be a permanent goodbye to this home. We went over to the campus early to see if we could sneak in before the scheduled time. No such luck, but we did get a tour of the locker room, field and athletic facilities. After the boys checked in to get their student ID cards and the keys to the room, the mad rush began. We hauled all of the boxes upstairs (only the 2nd floor thank goodness) and began to unpack. We sent Steel over to get fitted for his travel sweats and uniform. It took a while, but we get everything unpacked, and put away. (There's lots of built-in storage so everything fit nicely.) I did forget to pack a USB cable for the printer so we made a quick trip to Target.
When we got back, it was almost time for the parent/player meeting. I sent the boys over and stayed behind to set up the printer. When I was done, I took these pictures, locked the door and walked over to the meeting... not knowing what was in store. As I walked in, I was bombarded by crying parents. They were quickly leaving the auditorium as I was trying to get in. Leroy told me that the coaches had just asked all of the parents to say goodbye and to leave now so that they could get started with camp. I wasn't sure WHEN the goodbye would happen, but the decision was made for me. Just like ripping off a band-aid... it was over, just like that. A hug, a kiss on the cheek and a request that he continue to make us proud and he stepped into his new, independent life.
If I had to choose how to do say goodbye, this would have probably been the way I would have chosen. No drama... just get in and get out. But not having a choice has left me a bit in shock... but also overwhelming thankful for a coach that has taken the reins and recognizes the need for these boys to become independent, accountable young men... and they can't do that still attached to their mommas. Steel is in the perfect place for him... I can't be sad. He is doing EXACTLY what we had hoped and prayed for since he was born. A dream come true. I can't WAIT to see what he accomplishes from here on out.