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first day of school, 2018

to my three sons,

as i sit down to write these words to you, summer is gasping out its very last breaths.  when the sun makes it a new day tomorrow, you will soon be rising for the first day of school.  it is an interesting moment to be caught in: a kind of swirling whirlpool of excitement and sadness; a reluctant farewell to what has been an absolutely amazing summer, and an expectant joy about the year ahead.

and it has been an awesome summer.  we've been to the beach and built a fort.  you went to summer camp and steelers training camp and made sourdough.  we saw a grand slam at a baseball game, made slushies, and danced like crazy fools in the front row at a great concert on tussey mountain.  we've eaten well, explored together, sung at the top of our lungs, and grown closer together.  no small wonder that its hard to let go of all that.

but if you knew the adventure that lies ahead, you would not be grumbling about alarm clocks, homework, and bus rides.  if you knew, as i know, that the next nine months will birth in you new questions, unexpected discoveries, and as yet unkindled passions, you would be wide awake in anticipation, just like christmas eve.  you see, what you are beginning tomorrow is not just notebooks and number two pencils; it isn't just homework and homeroom: it is a journey that you can't yet imagine.  it will have moments of megalodons and mitochondria; of personal pronouns and polygons.  there will be tons of answers, but i hope there will be even more questions; questions that start with "why?" and "how?" and "what about?" and lead you to new and bigger questions which continue to unfold as you discover that the truth at the smallest level of a cell isn't all that different than the truth at the furthest reaches of the universe: love.

so sleep well, my sons.  and wake with a willingness to start the journey.  know that your mom and i walk with you, from summer to fall, from building forts to solving for x, from sleeping in to stepping out.  and know that the One who made it all, and who delights in every question mark and exclamation point you can make, is with you every step of the way.

all our love,


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