Before He Goes for Real

It's going to be a quiet week.

...on the blog, that is; certainly not at home.

Patrick called from camp yesterday to tell us he's been invited to join the U17 National Team Residency Program for the year. He flew home last night and needs to let them know today.

He leaves to go live in Florida on Saturday.

I've been awake much too long and had far too many intense conversations to begin to convey the experience here. We're going to be very busy the next few days getting him ready to go.

In the mornings, he will train. In the afternoons, he'll be going to school at St. Stephen's, an Episcopal school in the area. When he's traveling, they will travel tutors with him. Today we begin gathering what he needs before he leaves. He's got a huge list of school supplies--including uniforms--definitely uncharted territory in this house.  I'm sort of grateful that the shopping will give me something to keep my hands busy and productive. It's a lot to do in a very short time, but maybe that's for the better.

In two weeks, he leaves for a ten day trip to Spain, the first of many international adventures this year. While in Florida, he'll be living in the dorms at IMG Academy, an elite sports training facility. You can read about it here. The alumni links are pretty interesting.

Paddy has always done things with intensity, usually earlier than anyone else. So, I guess this should not catch me by surprise the way it does. The thing about a gifted child, though--they tend to make themselves the center of the universe. We're all feeling a little knocked out of our orbits this morning.

So, it will be quiet on the blog the rest of the week, as we gather and prepare (and party a little). If you think of us, might I ask a particular prayer?

Patrick was born on a Sunday morning, just a little before noon. We were home by evening. Mike tucked me and the baby into our bed, with Michael and Christian on the other side of us. There was no room for him, so he went to sleep by himself in the spare bedroom. In the middle of the night, he came in and stretched his 6'4" frame across the foot of the bed. Half asleep, I asked him what he was doing.

"I missed him. I didn't want to be so far away."

And so it's been, for Paddy's whole life. Please pray for them.