WOW! Today was the first day of my teenager’s senior year. As he pulled out of the driveway, I walked back into an early morning quiet house. Not unusual, in and of itself, but in the silence, the import of the day really hit me hard.

Those who’ve traveled this path before me have warned that this will be a busy, jam-packed year. One that will zoom past so fast it could cause whiplash. Am I ready? Yes. And, truthfully, no. I think that’s why the words of my good friend and wise counselor Martha Sterne have lodged so firmly in my mind.

“Have you ever seen a rocket launch,” she asked. And as I responded, images of the massive flames and billowing smoke on the launch pad grew bigger and bigger in my vision. “That’s what it takes to break away.”

Like a NASA flight engineer, I’ve studied the trajectory of the teenage rocket still currently residing in our home. All wide open space, worlds to explore, alien life forms to encounter. For now, all is being readied for the mission of his lifetime.

And the countdown to launch has begun…