P.O. Box 1387 (30298) 121 Royal Dr. Forest Park, GA 30297
GROWING PAINS JESSICA GOES OFF TO COLLEGE
their sympathy about how hard this change is going to be for her, and she keeps telling them that I’m the one who’s going to be the basket case. Maybe she’s right. In my time as a father, the only moment remotely comparable to this was when Jessica got her driver’s license. I remember watching her pull out of the driveway on her own for the first time, trying not to let her see how nervous I was. I watched as she backed out, went down the street, turned, and was suddenly gone. I stood on that stoop in stunned silence for a long time. Now Margaret and I will be the ones who have to pull away, and something tells me that act is going to be far harder than it was the other way around. Getting home that night is bound to be strange, too, now that we’re “empty nesters.” I’m not too worried because Margaret and I were together for a decade before we had Jessica and really bonded during that time. But suddenly finding ourselves in a similar situation 19 years later will certainly be the start of a new adventure. Fittingly enough, during this period where I’m taking stock of my personal life, Pye-Barker will be doing its own form of reflection. Specifically, our annual inventory day lands in August, so before I take off to Lookout Mountain, the team and I will be working our way through the warehouse, making sure every nut and bolt is accounted for. Who knows, maybe counting air compressors in the summer heat will be just the sort of meditative exercise my mind needs. If I’ve learned one thing in both business and fatherhood, it’s that watching your company or your child grow up can be hard at times. But these are the moments that you look back on with pride and joy.
By the time you read this, Margaret and I will be preparing to drop our daughter, Jessica, off at college. We already have all the practical details worked out, so this preparation will largely be on the emotional front. We Lunsfords tend to wear our hearts on our sleeves, and seeing our only daughter leave home is going to cause some waterworks. To be honest, I’m getting worked up just writing this ahead of time. Of course, it’s an exciting milestone, especially for Jessica. At the time of writing, she’s already met her future dorm mate online. She’s all the way from Wichita, and it’s already apparent that the two of them have a lot in common. Seeing that Jessica has already made a friend before even making it to campus is beyond relieving for her mom and me. Jessica also received news that she will be able to exempt math from her studies, which, frankly, would be exciting for most people to hear. The subject has never been her strong suit, and she busted her tail to earn A’s in high school. Her SAT scores were high enough that her college is letting her opt out of the required math courses for her degree. It just goes to show that hard work really does pay off. Despite all the positive news and excitement, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel some trepidation as the moment approaches. Toward the end of the month, we’ll be making the 2 1/2 hour drive up to Lookout Mountain, where Covenant College is located. We’ll help her get all settled in and maybe explore the surroundings together, but eventually, Margaret and I will have to get in the car and drive away. As if the day we drop her off wasn’t going to be emotionally charged enough already, it just happens to fall on my wife’s birthday. We’re actually moving her annual celebration dinner up a week to focus on the move, so the whole week is shaping up to be pretty tearful and reflective. People keep giving Margaret
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