LSU Memorial TowerLouisiana State University–Wow, that’s a proud institution to most Louisianians.  It’s our flagship, our mother campus, our national reputation (on the field as well as off).  So we are proud that Ann’s heading that way after two very successful years at the two-year country LSU campus here in Eunice.  We spent the day in Baton Rouge at orientation, prior to hauling her back there Friday with her personal effects to leave home, more or less permanently.

It was an easy day because we’re proud that it’s worked out for her to attend LSU.  She’ll have diploma backed by a world-class reputation.  She’s worked hard in her first two years of college to achieve the best academic record so far in the family.   And as I walked the campus with her and her mom during the day, I recalled my first visit to LSU when I was in high school almost 40 years ago.  LSU enchanted me, and I felt that same enchantment today.  My career and college plans turned out in other directions, but I sensed Ann feels the same enchantment about this campus, and now it’s happening for her.  That makes us all happy: our kids living out their dreams . . . yes, an easy day.

But it’s a hard day, too.  As soon as we got home, we began loading the belongings in the pickup and in her car so we’ll be able to get an early start tomorrow.  As I hauled her worldy goods out, including the boxes of furnishings and appliances her mom has been stockpiling for months in preparation for this day, and then as I regarded the two over-stuffed vehicles  in the drive-way, poised to head east in the morning, I realized these belongings will not likely return to this only home she’s known for the past 20 years.  And not only will the belongings not likely return, neither will she!   In a sense, if she does return home permanently, that return would not likely be good, because something in the plans that we all believe are so right now will have gone wrong.

So that’s what I mean by an easy, hard day.  And another one tomorrow.  I thought I was better prepared for the hardness of it, but the closer tomorrow grows, the less sure I am.  I still recall this little squirt swirling around the driveway 15 years ago:

Boo Bear on Skates
By David L. Pulling
December 1994

A barette-bound,
bow-surmouted,
honey-blonde
ponytail
dances
gleaming lights in Papa’s eyes.
Singing, spinning rollers
scruff and scrape
to
Teddy Bear arms
best
for hugging necks and puppy dogs
waving
in tiny animated circles

“Watch, Papa!”

Papa watches
girl swirl
about face
with
wispy golden bangs
framing
dark arresting eyes–
dazzling oxymorons
amid finest fairest features of
cuddly cuteness.

Come away, O human child
To the waters and the wild
With a faery by the hand.
There is more weeping in this world than you will ever understand.

–William Butler Yeats

What else to say, except “Praise God from whom all blessings flow?”  We receive children as gifts of care, and one day by His grace we release them as finished products, the ripened fruit of our parental labor.  Such an easy, hard thing to do!

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