this guy’s off to college

It’s crazy to think that a little over eight years ago, I met this little dude at a dog park in St. Paul. I was dating his mom and it was going well enough that an introduction to her son was appropriate. The first time I met him, he searched my pockets with a metal detector. The second time we met, he got stuck trying to hide in the back of my SUV so he could go home with me.

When he and his mom first moved in, we’d catch him going to sleep every night watching one of those dogsitting DVDs where the squirrels run across the screen every once in a while. He claimed it help him go to sleep. Hey, whatever works, dude.

Since then, I’ve watched him change schools, move addresses, land awesome internships at non-profits, get a sweet theater ushering gig, figure out the public transportation system, gain a massive amount of healthy confidence, overcome crappy teenager things, get excited about volunteering multiple times, become angry about injustices in the world, ALMOST CRY AT THE END OF FURIOUS 7, immediately become an amazing big brother and develop into a full grown man that, more than anything, is an amazing human being.

Tomorrow morning, we move him into a college that we’re pretty sure was made just for him. He wants to double major in Biology and Secondary Education, so he can eventually teach high school science classes. He doesn’t want to do that, though, until he’s gotten a chance to do some work out in the field, so he can teach his students from the book and from real life experiences. He wants to study abroad at least once and it would be a dream come true for him if he could land an internship with the Disney World College Program. And this kid? I know he can do all that and more.

I will miss his face, his need to Google everything all the time, his knack for memorizing the weirdest Wikipedia pages, his willingness to help everyone around him with anything without question, his hilarious sense of humor, his gigantic heart, his true authentic self, his long monkey arms that can reach every shelf and pretty much everything else about him.

I know you’ll do great things. You already do.

Go get ’em, tiger.

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