Most of you are aware that my son Stephen is a senior at (the academically brutal) Lakeside School and is getting ready to fly the coop for college. I think he has been ready for this for awhile and that’s normal. He’s at the 11th hour of needing to decide which college. As much as his thoughts have been consumed with this decision, mine have been consumed with comprehending the meaning of the last 18 years: certainly a sea change is happening. Maybe I can write more on that later this summer as the fall of 2007 and the spring of his college life simultaneously come nigh.
For now I will say simply that his mother, his sister, and I will miss him. What a difference he has made to our lives. Life has been harder, funnier, more blessed, more challenging, more interesting, more refining, and plain better because of him.
With these and other such things on my mind, I found myself yesterday afternoon up in Factoria to meet with the men who help me make decisions for the Eastside ministry: Greg Tacher, Greg Brumly, and Bruce Pflaumer. After the meeting, I had a chance to drive up to the two Somerset houses we used to live in. The first is directly across from Somerset Elementary and we followed the Eleazers (who led the Seattle church in the mid-90’s) in renting it. That house had no view, but you could go out your front door and stand in the street and see all of downtown Seattle and sometimes the Olympic Mountains. It was quite a sight but you had to be aware of cars that might run over you. I remember we would sometimes wake up at night because people were marauding around the elementary school grounds–it’s hard to imagine that Somerset could have delinquets, right? I also remember buying my little kids bicycles at Christmas and riding around with them at Somerset grounds, which have now changed completely–what a school renovation! We played catch and shot baskets on those grounds.
That’s what I was remembering yesterday as I sat parked by the school and looking over the amazing growth of the japanese maple (James I know that’s acer!) that graced our front yard.
Then I drove down to the house we owned and lived in for four years on SE 46th Street. There are too many amazing memories to list here, but we had good fires, good holidays, good barbecues, and good 3-point contests there. My kids could walk to school and they did, but to less delight than their parents. I read to 9 year old Stephen and 7 year old Ariel every night and assured them whenever necessary that if any monsters or bad people ever tried to hurt them I would terrorize such foes, beat them senseless, and tear them limb from limb. They believed me because I meant it.
I meant it yesterday in my car driving slowly around Somerset, which felt like holy ground.