It's Sunflower time again. With the brilliant golden blooms that dot the Kansas prairie brings the dawn of my son's senior year....and I'm not ready.
You tell yourself that this time is coming. While he rides his stick horse around the living room, helps you with brownie-baking and creepy-crawler-making and lies beside you on a blanket of green grass with a storybook in one hand and a cookie in the other, you tell yourself that these times don't last. But with the busyness of everyday life and the endless days of childhood sweetness, you don't really believe it.
Then before you know it, he's taller than you with a deep voice and in a circle where you're no longer the center. It's where you want him to be, where you raised him to be and you encourage him to fly, while clipping your own wings just a bit so you're not tempted to follow behind.
He is a unique individual, my son; strong in who he is and marching confidently to the rhythm that he hears, knowing that I love him unconditionally. While his friends gear up for a year filled with football and fun, he looks beyond that to what's over the horizon and the possibilities that lie past the boundaries of our little town. And while I feel melancholy at the prospect of him growing up, I'm excited for the paths he has before him. I know he carries the tools to build a joyful life and will use them well in his journey.
So as this last school year approaches and an era comes to an end, embrace your life, son. Enjoy who you are and what this world has to offer. Leave each day a little better than its dawning possibilities. Be strong and go forward with a song - and a Kansas Sunflower - in your heart, knowing I love you.....and that I always will.