Saturday night will be the last night my oldest son spends under the roof of our home. Well, for a while at least. Late afternoon on Sunday he will depart for Omaha to spend the night as he begins processing for his departure to boot camp. Monday morning I and the rest of his family will see him off as he begins his career in the Marine Corps.
His younger brother and sister have been counting down the days to his departure. Brother will move downstairs to occupy the briefly vacated bedroom. Sister will at long last have a bedroom all to herself. The bedroom that was originally painted for the two boys will be painted for a girl, though her color choices of pink, purple, red and white may be tempered a bit. It will be the first time for both of them that they have a room all to themselves.
We’ll be back home by late morning. I’ve taken the day off so I’ll probably putter around the house and try to keep myself busy. Perhaps in a book while sitting outside enjoying what has been an idyllic autumn thus far in Nebraska. Or maybe I’ll head to a bookstore. Most likely I’ll be found on my knees at either the Pink Sisters chapel or at our parish.
At some point late on Monday night/early Tuesday morning we’ll receive a 15-second phone call from him letting us know he made it and that this would be the last time we heard his voice until we travel to San Diego in January to see him graduate and be recognized for the first time as a Marine.
On Tuesday I’ll go to work at my new job. My last day at the one I’ve had for almost six years is tomorrow. And so will end eleven plus years in the world of corporate IT.
I’ve been looking to make the change for about a year. While I’m not ungrateful at all for the job I’ve held, or the great people I’ve worked with, I’ve not felt challenged for quite some time. I am not allowed to use any creativity (which accounts for my seeking other outlets such as writing as well as the art classes I began to take last month). And so for almost six years I’ve done the same thing, day in and day out, working on things which provide no stimulation, or spark, or even incentive. Or I should say: challenging but not edifying. So I began to think about a change, because life is short. I’m excited about the opportunity and challenges ahead.
And if my son is taking a risk in the pursuit of his passion, then why shouldn’t I as well?
Over the weekend we visited both sets of grandparents so they could say goodbye to him. Harvest is in full swing so he joined his uncles in the fields and made a few rounds in the combine, just as he did when he first made a round at the age of four. His sister joined him for her first trip through the dried corn fields.
I drove my final 90-minute requirements meeting on Tuesday.
I’ve walked the last requirements spec document I’ll ever write.
I’ve just created and posted the final test plans for which I’m responsible.
There was to be a follow-up meeting this afternoon. Due to the fact that Tuesday’s meeting went so well and the crush of everyone’s schedule it was deemed unnecessary. I canceled it this morning.
And then I walked a few blocks to Starbucks and The Cookie Company one last time. I said my goodbyes to Karen, the woman who has been making my peppermint mochas since I got addicted to them four years ago. I went next door and purchased a large macadamia nut cookie. I began to clean out the desk I’ve occupied for just shy of six years.
My son’s new adventure begins for him on Monday.
Mine starts on Tuesday. The son has inspired the father.
As the Greek philosopher Heraclitus of Ephesus said five centuries before the birth of Christ:
“The only thing that is constant is change.”
For that much I’m grateful.
Photo credits: The final three images were taken by the author.