I frequently write about the morning walks Elliott and I take. I can't avoid the endless talking points generated by the setting and characters we mingle with at that hour of the day. It's ironic that there are fewer people in action, but the slow pace of inactivity allows you to investigate, if only in your own mind, what goes on in the billions of lives that make up the of the rest of the world.
We came upon a gentleman today stacking a moving dolly and some other moving supplies on top of his SUV. He had it tied down firmly with countless passes of rope, running over and under the equipment connecting the width of the vehicle's roof. It appeared his move would be a long distance one. I couldn't help but comment "It looks like someone has a busy day ahead."
"We're moving our daughter to Virginia Tech", he said, grinning ear to ear. "This will be her first year."
I told him my wife graduated from Virginia Tech and by my estimation she turned out pretty good. He chuckled and we wished each other a good day. As Elliott and I strolled away, I thought about how difficult that must be to raise a child for 18 years and then personally drive them to the spot where you set them free. I have a friend I work with who is also taking his daughter to VT today. He was telling me he was sure he would shed tears when they drove away. I can imagine.
I guess that is why Katie and I are fortunate to have Randolph Macon College right around the corner. Elliott and Ian will be able to walk to school. They can repaint their bedrooms in yellow jacket colors and it will be the next best thing to dorm living. I do hope grandpa Almond continues to work with Elliott on his wrestling moves in hopes he'll be able to offset the $30,000 a year tuition with a scholarship. Of course that number six party school in the nation status remains a concern, but by then, I'm sure the Princeton Review will come to realize that Ashland is noted far more for its tomatoes than its parties.
We'll have practice of sorts in the upcoming weeks. We'll be dropping Elliott off at a brand new daycare, something we haven't done in some time, hoping that he's treated well and maybe more importantly, that he is treating others well. We're saying our prayers.