It seems like yesterday – but in actuality it was ….. groan ….. 30 years ago when my parents dropped me off at Reinhardt College back in 1983. I was reading about a pastor friend that was taking his daughter to what is now Reinhardt University (I still don’t quite accept that change) this fall as a Freshman and I told him if he looks around he’s likely to find my heart there. The memories just keep flooding back. I remember the first time I ever laid eyes on a young girl named Kim and was so heart struck that I knew at that moment that I would one day marry that girl. I remember wonderful friendships that are still very important to me even to this day.

But that was my story – the story that fills the Porter house these days is of my son Benjamin (or Ben as others call him) who will be off this Saturday, August 10 to South Georgia College in Douglas, Ga.

My hope for him is that he will make lasting friendships like I did. My desire is that he will grow into a man as he learns to make decisions and then to have to live with those decisions. My prayer is that he will find his place and faith in this world but never forget that home is forever in the places where his Mother and I reside.

Benjamin was always the one that had to do it himself. He went through one phase that frustrated his parents and teachers a like. When a teacher would encourage him in school he would go in the opposite direction. No matter how much anyone encouraged him that he could do it he seemingly fought to prove that he couldn’t do it – even though we knew he could. But that soon passed and he was soon proving to the world how strong and bright that he really was.

There is always something hard about raising your kids. On the one hand you are so proud of them and their accomplishments but on the other hand there is a part that grieves the fact that they are needing you less and less. That part comes across sometimes in frustration – perhaps even anger. But it’s always steeped in love and pride.

Benjamin heads to this next level of his life and I know that he’s going to be great in this next phase. He has found a young girl named Carly Anna that makes him happy and he seems set on living a life in law enforcement. He’s got it all laid out there in front of him and I can’t wait to watch him go and claim it.

As for me and his Mother – we enter that new phase called empty nest. We’ll learn to spend time with each other again and to enjoy our love and company with each other. But Benjamin and David a-like know that even though the nest is empty – there’s always room.

About rodneydporter

I am a United Methodist Pastor. I used to say what I did defined me - but nowadays I prefer to be defined as a husband, dad and Christian.
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