I have called to arrange to visit #2 son on Sunday. He is at a summer program at the university, and Sunday morning is the offical visiting time. We have to call by Thursday to reserve a spot with him. However, I was lucky enough to see him walking down the street when I happened to be at the college today. He was very cool, but allowed me to hug him nonetheless.

In my father’s family, it was customary to send kids away to school. My great-grandfather, whose parents were pioneers on the Louisiana-Texas border in the 1800s, went back to North Carolina for prep school. He sent his own kids to Switzerland to be educated while he did missionary work in China. My own father went to school in France and the United States while his parents lived in Switzerland. The sweet children in the picture above, including my father’s mother, probably all went away from home at young ages.

I can’t imagine how they did it. We sent #2 daughter off to summer programs a few times when she was in junior high and high school, and missed her very much every time. Now our twelve-year-old is away for three weeks, and I miss him. How could our ancestors have sent their children off, to another country or continent, without even having email? It’s hard enough sending them off to college or even when they actually grow up.

At least this time our kid is close enough to visit. #2 daughter’s travels took her to drama and music camps in other parts of the state. We dropped her off and didn’t see her again for the three or six or however many weeks. #2 son is near enough that we can see him on Sunday mornings.