On Saturday, I shipped my son, Jeremy, off to Denver to begin his Up With People adventure. Man, talk about your bittersweet experience. I missed him like crazy from the moment I watched him walk through the security check at San Diego airport. And, at the same time, what a vicarious thrill that was. And is.
I have to keep reminding myself how incredible this is going to be for him. And, truth be told, I am looking forward to commandeering his bedroom as my office. I haven’t been able to bring myself to do it yet, though.
I talked to him tonight and asked him how the first day was.
“Awesome,” he said. And that was all I needed to hear.
“I love you, son,” I said at the end of our call. “Now go and have a great time and change the world and all that.”
I was elated to hear the confirmation—after only one day—that this will truly be a life-altering experience for Jeremy and the 80 other young folks from over 20 countries who’ll be traveling together for the next 5 months, doing great community service and performing music to uplift the spirits of the people they’ll meet along the way.
And then, this evening, as fortune would have it, I saw this post on the Servant Leadership blog. They quote Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel’s message for young people:
“Let them remember that there is a meaning beyond absurdity. Let them be sure that every little deed counts, that every word has power, and that we can – every one – do our share to redeem the world in spite of all its absurdities and all frustrations and all disappointments. And above all, remember that the meaning of life is to build a life as if it were a work of art.”
To that I say amen and goodnight son.
I miss you. And, starting tomorrow,
your room is mine.
Trevor M. Hall says
Funny how fate works sometimes! Glad that the post meant something to you during this time of separation from your son. Keep up the great work and may your son continue enjoying his experience with Up With People! Take care!
Jodee Bock says
I am eternally impressed at the relationships you are building with your children. It sounds like you’re raising thoughtful and informed young people ready to take on the world (loved the story about your daughter and her trip to Europe in The Radical Edge as well).
Although I didn’t have the opportunity to do the Up With People gig as a youth, I did get a chance to host two girls for the long Labor Day weekend a few years ago during their Up With People trip to Fargo. What a great experience for me.
I’m sure Jeremy will have lifelong memories from this experience … and it is fun to think also about the people he will influence along this journey, perhaps without even realizing it.