I need to pack tonight for a visit to Chicagoland tomorrow with Josh and Diane. We’re headed to Trinity International University in Deerfield for Josh’s first visit of a potential college. How time flies…Yesterday morning I walked into the bathroom and found him shaving. He’s a high school junior and has been doing that for a while, but the vision of it arrested me afresh.
I remember his birth, oh so well…I was leading the single adult ministry (30 and over) at Harvest Bible Chapel and had taken careful pains to find a speaker who could fill in, just in case Diane went into labor on or near our Friday ministry (known as Desert Streams). Wouldn’t you know it – she went into labor on a Friday. Rick Donald was ready to go; the problem was that I hadn’t taken care of the other details for the evening. So there we were in the delivery room, Diane going through labor pains, and I on the phone arranging for cookies and punch. In case you’re wondering, she has since forgiven me.
And then he was born: Glorious. Wonderful. Awesome. I recall walking around the hospital ward on Saturday morning, holding my day-old son, and introducing him to the sunrise. Those days were so full of joy…and sleeplessness. Welcome to parenting, Rog and Di – the greatest joy you’ll ever know coupled with the greatest…well, fill in the blank…worries, sacrifice, sleeplessness. Guess I said that last one already, but Josh wasn’t big on sleep in those days. He has since learned.
We named him Joshua Kendon, after one of my favorite personalities in the Bible and his two grandfathers (Ken Fenske and Don Knowlton). Diane’s dad got pride of first place because Donken didn’t have the same ring to it.
17 years…really? Where did they go? And college…that’s a place where the children of my friends go, not my own. My own children stay at home every evening to be read stories to and tucked into bed. My own children play hide and seek with me; we do “flips and tricks” in the living room. Other people may have children who leave home for weeks and months at a time. Not in the Knowlton household. Knowlton children do not have experiences apart from me. They do not make friends whose names I do not know. They are home, in my arms, and I am introducing them to the sunrise.
Except tomorrow…tomorrow is the day when I wake up and begin the process of introducing my son…to college.