I woke up this morning to an email from my son Ryan who is out in California following his dream of playing baseball. He is a freshman at Ohlone College in Fremont, CA.
Of course being three hours behind us, I don’t see some of his evening emails until the following day. Anyway, Theodore was up before 6am, so I brought him downstairs with me to get our day started. Eventually I got around to my email, and a simple message from Ryan. Immediately I thought about how I haven’t seen him since August 30th, he’s well over 3000 miles from home, I haven’t been able to see him play any ball this fall, and I just miss him.
So I had to think on something more uplifting to start my day. I perused through several different things I have written about the kids, as the kids are always a source of enjoyment for me. I came across this piece I had posted on Facebook. I thought I would post it on my blog here, with the addition of several pictures that Steve and I took along the way. For some of you this will be repetitive, for others, brand new. I hope you enjoy it. For those of you who have sent your children off to college, I am sure you can relate on some level. For those of you who haven’t done so yet, get ready for it. The best way to get ready, in my opinion, is to spend every moment you can with the kids now, be present now, (not when you think you have time, be present NOW because when you have the time, they’ll be at school and you’ll have a void you wish had filled before they left) and don’t let anything stop you. So this is how it looked … with the addition of pictures.
Yesterday I left Ryan at school in California. Ryan is going to Ohlone College in Fremont, CA. He is pursuing his education while following his dream of playing baseball. This moving day was much different from last year with Steve and not any easier to walk away from. Steve came with me to help his brother get set up for his first semester of college. I was fine with all this until I hugged Ryan and said good-bye yesterday morning. I am pretty sure it went something like this.
In Ryan’s car; Steve and I pulled out of the driveway at about 6:45, this ride was different, a true cross-country drive.
We shared the driving and stopped in Ohio on day one, we drove through a tornado warning but we still had fun.
Day two we headed to Route 50, destination Missouri, we didn’t stop for much more than Tim Horton’s as we were in a hurry.
We left Missouri’s State Capital headed through Kansas and the plains, we enjoyed the slow climb, lots of prairie dogs, and coal loaded trains.
Day four, we left Lamar, Colorado to climb the Rockies and Continental Divide, we went through Big Horn Canyon and over Monarch Mountain at 11,000 feet along the ride.
We continued through the mountains and valleys of Colorado and onto Utah’s Wasatch Plateau, the views were breathtaking and we saw a dozen eagles or so.
We left through a gorgeous valley in Utah for the high desert of Nevada on day five, Route 50 in Nevada, known as “The Loneliest Road in America” was that day’s drive.
We had been on the Santa Fe and Lewis & Clark Trails, even the trail used by the Pony Express, we pulled into Carson City anxious for a good night’s rest.
In the meantime, Ryan had flown to California with my brother and some family friends, Steve and I barely fit in the loaded car on the drive that soon ends.
We left Carson City, around Lake Tahoe and into California’s Great Valley; we met for lunch in Union City, we drove more than 3500 miles, our final tally.
Once we arrived it was time to get Ryan and make sure he was ready for term one, we went to the campus for books, moved all his stuff in, while managing some fun.
With no dorms on campus his apartment down the road will have to do, Steve set up his printer, we got him unpacked, and we were quite the efficient crew.
We spent time together with a morning trip into San Francisco and Pier 39, we could see Alcatraz, the amazing bridges, and dozens of attractions in the warm sunshine.
It all started to hit me as we took in the sites and I watched my boys together, knowing full well that once this trip ended things would be different forever.
Then yesterday on his way to school I walked Ryan to the car to say good-bye, I hugged him and stumbled over some words as I tried not to cry.
Ryan I know you will be awesome and will truly have the time of your life. I am proud of you and love you very much. Don’t change. You are wonderful young man.