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Yesterday was the last day of oldest son’s life at school.

From downstairs, I heard his alarm go off about 8:00am. He was straight into the shower and ready by 8:30am, though we weren’t leaving for school until 10:15am.

One last exam.  Physics.

At 12:35pm he was finished.  He dropped his textbooks at the library and left his school, his life for the past 12 years, behind.

He and four buddies walked out past the security gate.  They hadn’t gone to the office to get an ‘early exit’ pass, so were being hassled a little by the security guard.  They are all good kids who wouldn’t normally ever break the rules, but today I suppose they wanted to do something a little daring.

His exam went well.  Somewhat easier than the physics exam he wrote  a couple days ago, or so he said.  Now we wait until mid-August to get all his results.

So that is it.

He has deferred his offer to University for  a year.  The plan is he’ll finish up the the contract work he’s been doing for about 6 months now, while he was still attending school. The longer-term plan is for him to move in a couple of months to the Czech Republic where this company is based.  We shall see.

I am proud of the young man he has become.

Meeting his Dad on the way home from work, we took him out for dinner.  Just to a casual place in one of the malls.

Oldest son’s first topic of conversation was something along the lines of being disappointed in how the U.S. are handling their stake in Libya at the moment. How it looks like they will not be staying long and how he feels this is letting the people of Libya down.

Next was how an ex-classmate has apparently been arrested for possession here in Qatar.  He says it’s such a dumb thing to do anywhere, but here even moreso. Oldest son figures the classmate will likely learn a lesson not to do that again.

A few other topics of conversation.  Then he asks me to check my bank account, to see if he’s been paid for a submission he’s just written for a magazine, that will appear in their September issue.  (Getting bank accounts here for kids – not an easy process, so he’s using ours short-term for payments).

I’ll check before I head home.

I send him home with his Dad so they too have a chance to talk about his last day of school, or whatever else might come up. There are only so many of those drives home that will take place in the near future and I’m sure his Dad is longing to make the most of them, as am I.

Our sweet young thing is soon to be moving on.

I am happy for him.

Life moves on.

Maybe that’s why I felt so quiet and melancholy all day.

I will miss him,

… and he won’t need my hand to hold anymore.