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Signs of independence are beginning to show

It's hard to believe that the slobbering little ball of fat who used to stagger around the corner to greet me with a big grin and open arms when I came home from work is now a high school junior who refers to me as 'dude' as often as 'dad'. I am waxing a bit nostalgic about things these days because my son is preparing to go on his first baseball trip without one or both of his parents.
Saturday, he and his teammates will board a chartered bus for Bradenton, FL for a week of baseball games in the sun. They will arrive early Sunday afternoon, get settled in at the condos where they will be staying and have their first practice later, around 4 o'clock. Beginning on Monday there will be one practice and one game each day through Friday. They will board the bus after Friday's game and begin the journey home, arriving Saturday, the day before Easter.
My wife and I briefly considered taking a few days and heading south to watch him play, look at some local colleges and perhaps have dinner with an old college buddy with whom I've recently reconnected (I spent three memorable years at the University of Central Florida in Orlando). But, as we were bonding around the dinner table and told him what we were thinking, he said something that was a sign that he is growing up. He said he preferred that we not come watch him play. He said he wanted to experience this by himself to give him a feeling of being on his own. He is beginning to assert some independence, and we understand. Our feelings are a bit hurt, but we understand.
So we will take him to the bus on Saturday, wish him good luck and request a daily recap. Boy, I sure miss the old days 

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