Before You Go

As our first son, Jack, began his senior year in high school, I began to have this overwhelming desire to have one last conversation with him before he left for college. I wanted to review with him one more time all the advice and counsel I had given him over the years. Knowing that a conversation like that would never end, I began to write everything down on paper. Eventually, all of that paper became a book that my wife and I gave to Jack when he graduated. The book is titled Before You Go. A couple of years ago, we did the same for our second son, Ben, when he graduated. And we will do the same for our third son, Mark, next May. As you read this book, you are getting a peek into what has been twice now a very special time for our family, but also a shared experience for all parents of high school graduates. The experience is not bad. As a matter of fact, we all know it is coming and our entire purpose as parents is wrapped up in it. We actually throw parties to celebrate the occasion. Yet, in all the celebrating, we find ourselves crying from time to time, the kind of crying that marks happy occasions underscored with the understanding that the mission is complete and wrapped in the knowledge that a wonderfully sweet and special time has come to an end. If you are reading this and have a graduate of your own, you will no doubt be filtering everything you read through your own experience with your own son or with your own daughter. As you do so, keep this in mind: though we will certainly fail our children in some way, God never will. I hope you enjoy the rea