So later tonight we set off for Nassau, for son Chris' Semester at Sea departure on Friday. It will be a quick trip, we'll arrive tomorrow afternoon just in time to freshen up, maybe walk down to the beach, and then creep through traffic to the Parents Reception to tour the ship again. This time, the various areas on board have much more meaning, since this was our daughter's home away from home last spring too.
Friday morning, we'll join him in the seemingly endless check-in line until he boards. We'll get back on board around 2 for final hugs. Then parents are shooed off to wait at the dock while they perform lifeboat drills to the crew's satisfaction.
Finally around 5 p.m. Friday, the harbor pilot will guide the Explorer out to face the open ocean, with over 700 students cheering and waving goodbye on deck. They'll be gone for 3 and a half months as they take classes while circumnavigating the globe.
Yes, it's incredibly thrilling to see your child off on such an amazing adventure. But for now, pass me the kleenex, please.