November is special here at the page garden because we celebrate my son’s birthday. It’s a big one this year—18. Wow!

He’s a high school senior and beginning to find his own way. Future plans are front and center. Fortunately, he’s applied to and been accepted at the university of his choice.

Last month, he bought a car. As I followed him home after we signed the papers and took possession of the car, I couldn’t help but have a catch in my throat. The symbolism of him driving away in a car he purchased with money he has earned on his own was almost too much for me. “He doesn’t need me anymore,” I thought.

I know that’s not true by any stretch of the imagination. And, it’s ultimately what all of us as parents work toward—raising confident and independent kids who are ready to take on the world as adults.

Still, it’s not easy to let go of the little boy who asked me to read “just one more book” and who squealed, “Watch me!” and “Higher!”

I’m so proud of the young man he’s becoming. He’s finding his own way, and that thought in that moment brought a tear to my eye. As a friend told me when I was pregnant with him, “Mommas and their boys.”

It didn’t take me long to figure out what she meant.

Please. Wear your mask, and wash your hands. Vote on Nov. 3.