Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Touring Tufts University in greater Boston June 6, 2016

Tufts melds almost seamlessly into the residential neighborhoods of Medford and Somerville.

Tufts melds almost seamlessly into the residential neighborhoods of Medford and Somerville.

PRIOR TO MY SON considering Tufts University as a potential transfer college three years ago, I’d never heard of this Massachusetts university. But Caleb had done his research, followed by a flight to Boston to explore three colleges there. All three eventually accepted him, with Tufts offering a financial aid package that would allow him to afford an education at the Medford/Somerville campus.

Caleb and Randy climb Memorial Steps, in honor of Tufts' war dead, to the campus. There are a lot of steps.

Caleb and Randy climb Memorial Steps, in honor of Tufts’ war dead, to the main campus.

I shall always be grateful to the benefactor who gave my son this opportunity to learn at a highly-ranked student-centered research university. Caleb needed the challenges Tufts offered. He needed to leave the Midwest. He needed a place like Tufts.

I zoomed in on the Boston skyline from the patio roof of Tisch Library.

I zoomed in on the Boston skyline from the patio roof of Tisch Library.

After visiting Tufts’ Medford/Somerville campus for the first time the day before commencement, I understood why Caleb loves this university. The college, set atop a hill and with a spectacular view of the distant Boston skyline from the roof of Tisch Library, is stunningly impressive.

Eaton Hall

The political science, sociology and classics departments, among other offices, are located in Eaton Hall.

A newer building on campus.

A newer building on campus.

New construction is underway on campus, as seen to the right in this photo. That's the John Hancock building in the distant Boston skyline.

New construction is underway on campus, as seen to the right in this photo. That’s the John Hancock building in the distant Boston skyline.

Aged buildings define the campus, although newer ones also stand and are under construction.

This new Jumbo sculpture was recently installed on campus.

This new Jumbo sculpture was recently installed at Tufts. It’s a popular spot for photo ops.

Tufts (with four campuses) was established in 1852 and has an enrollment of nearly 12,000 students. It’s mascot is Jumbo the elephant of circus fame. President Barack and Michelle Obama’s daughter Malia toured Tufts in March 2015, settling later on Harvard University in next-door Cambridge as her college choice. Noted individuals like Meredith Vieira, Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Michlle Kwan are Tufts alum.

Ballou Hall, built 1852-54.

Ballou Hall, built 1852-54. Graduation ceremonies were held on the adjacent green.

Goddard Chapel, built in 1883.

Goddard Chapel, built in 1883.

Beautiful stained glass windows and dark wood dominate Goddard Chapel.

Beautiful stained glass windows and dark wood define Goddard Chapel.

The Gifford House, home to the college president.

The Gifford House, home to the college president.

Given my appreciation for old buildings and lovely architecture, I loved the historic feel of Tufts. There’s something comforting and storied about structures that have existed for a long time. There’s an ongoing connection to generations of students who’ve walked these halls and this campus under a canopy of trees with spacious green space, seemingly a premium in the greater Boston neighborhoods I saw during my late May visit.

I adore the reading room in the Edwin Ginn Library at The Fletcher School.

The Edwin Ginn Library at The Fletcher School looks like something out of a movie set. Oh, to study here. And my son did.

A sculpture on campus.

A sculpture on campus.

Posted on an athletic field fence.

Posted on an athletic field fence.

It is easy to love Tufts.

Caleb spent a lot of time here, in the computer lab.

Caleb spent a lot of time here, in the computer lab.

I understand why, at age 22, my son likes living in greater Boston. This metro area teems with young people. There’s a certain vibe, a constant hum, a busyness that prevails. People are walking/hurrying everywhere. The mass transit system makes getting around easy.

My son and I pose atop the Tisch Library with the Boston skyline as a backdrop.

My son and I pose atop the Tisch Library with the Boston skyline as a backdrop.

It’s not a place I would choose to live. But it is, for now, my son’s home. And although I don’t like having him 1,400 miles away, I have accepted that he lives here, too far from Minnesota, in a city he loves.

FYI: Check back for a tour of a neighborhood surrounding Tufts.

© Copyright 2016 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

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When a Minnesota mom attends her son’s East Coast college graduation June 3, 2016

A Tufts University graduate decorated her graduation hat.

A uniquely decorated graduation hat at Tufts University 2016 commencement.

I’VE ATTENDED THREE COLLEGE graduations now, for each of my three children, with eight years separating the first and final commencements.

The tented area in the background served as the stage during the all-school commencement ceremony.

The tented area in the background served as the stage during the all-school commencement ceremony at Tufts.

The daughters’ ceremonies were held in gyms at public universities in Minnesota and Wisconsin. I don’t recall much about either other than the Wisconsin politician who used his commencement speech as a campaign platform. I was deeply disappointed, even angry. This wasn’t supposed to be about him, but rather about the graduates.

Congratulatory balloons floated among spectators.

Congratulatory balloons float among spectators.

So when alum and Emmy-award winning actor Hank Azaria was slated to deliver the all-school commencement speech at my son’s May 22 graduation from Tufts University in greater Boston, I was wary. I had no idea who he was, which is no surprise given I am unaware of most Hollywood celebrities. When I learned that Azaria voiced many of The Simpsons characters, I was delighted. My son is a big fan of The Simpsons.

A snapshot of the crowd before the all-school commencement began.

A snapshot of the crowd before the all-school commencement begins.

To my relief, Azaria gave a humorous speech with the simple message that graduates should be honest with themselves and trust their instincts.

The second phase of graduation moved us nearer the stage and to the ceremony for The School of Engineering.

The second phase of graduation moved us nearer the stage and to the ceremony for The School of Engineering.

He voiced several characters from The Simpsons, providing much needed laughter in a morning with an abundance of drawn-out pomp and circumstance.

I caught this dad napping at The School of Engineering commencement ceremony.

I caught this dad napping at The School of Engineering commencement ceremony.

Role-playing Moe the bartender, Azaria said, “I didn’t have a high-falutin’ education. I went to BU.” The audience roared at the comparison between Tufts and Boston University. I understood, feeling a bit like a country hick myself amidst the obvious wealth of many Tufts families.  I am keenly aware that my son, too, felt at times out-of-place on this East Coast campus as a Minnesota boy from a lower middle class family.

Lots of photos were taken at the ceremony and of Tufts' mascot Jumbo, in the background here.

Lots of photos were taken at the ceremony and of Tufts’ mascot, Jumbo, in the background here.

Laughter also erupted when Azaria mimicked the Indian-American owner of the Kwik-E-Mart (from The Simpsons): “We both worship an elephant.” Tufts’ mascot is Jumbo the elephant. P.T. Barnum was an early benefactor of the university.

Tufts police and EMS stood ready near the main commencement stage. Just weeks prior to commencement, a car was torched on campus and a bomb threat discovered.

Tufts police and EMS stand ready near the main commencement stage. Just weeks prior to graduation day, a car was torched on campus and a bomb threat discovered.

Light-hearted moments were welcome among the formal protocol, which began at 9 a.m. and extended well into the afternoon. Thousands gathered on the campus green for, first, the all-school commencement ceremony, and afterward for individual school commencements.

A father photographs the

A father photographs The School of Engineering commencement ceremony. That’s a side profile of Jumbo the elephant in the background.

My husband and I were sitting so far back from the stage that we could see little. I used my camera’s telephoto lens as binoculars several times.

Thousands of chairs covered the campus green for commencement. The event went on, rain or shine. Rain drizzled briefly.

Thousands of chairs cover the campus green for commencement. We sat in this side wing area near the back. Apparently you need to arrive really early to get a good seat.  The event went on, rain or shine. Rain drizzled briefly.

I was thankful events were held outdoors on the beautiful university green rather than inside some stuffy auditorium. Tufts’ Medford/Somerville campus sits atop a hill with a picturesque view of the Boston skyline. Campus buildings are aged and solid, trademark visuals of a long-established and respected educational institution.

Flowers and balloons await graduates.

Flowers and balloons await graduates.

Visiting Tufts for the first time on graduation weekend was an experience, an opportunity to see this place our son has called home for three years. Many other families traveled, too, from across the country and across the world to watch their sons and daughters graduate. We shared that commonality. Maybe not of financial wealth, or lack thereof. But of parents celebrating.

BONUS PHOTOS:

After the two commencement ceremonies, we were finally able to eat a picnic lunch--salad, strawberries and a bar--on a grassy hillside.

After the two commencement ceremonies, we were finally able to eat a complimentary picnic lunch–salad, strawberries and a bar–on a grassy hillside. Everything was recycled.

Vendors hawked flowers before and after commencement ceremonies.

Vendors hawked flowers before and after commencement ceremonies.

Beautiful flowers for a graduate.

Beautiful flowers for a graduate.

FYI: Check back next week for a tour of the Tufts campus.

© Copyright 2016 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

 

Thoughts upon my son’s graduation from Tufts University June 2, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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Caleb returns to his seat after graduating from Tufts University School of Engineering with a bachelor of science degree in computer science.

Caleb returns to his seat after graduating from Tufts University School of Engineering with a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science on May 22.

HE’S GRADUATED. The son. My youngest. Through four years of college with a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science from Tufts University in Medford/Somerville, Massachusetts.

Posing afterward atop the roof of the Tufts library with the Boston skyline some 10 miles in the distance.

Posing afterward atop the roof of the Tufts library with the Boston skyline some 10 miles in the distance.

I am thankful. Grateful that Caleb was given the opportunity to attend such a noted private research university as a selected transfer student. Grateful for the academic challenges he needed. Grateful for the financial gifts that enabled him to attend an institution where the annual cost of tuition far exceeds our household income.

After attending college for a year at North Dakota State University in Fargo, Caleb was accepted as a transfer student into the highly-competitive Tufts University.

After attending college for a year at North Dakota State University in Fargo, Caleb was accepted as a transfer student into the highly-competitive Tufts University and two other noted Boston colleges.

He’s grown into a strong young man of whom I am immensely proud. I am proud of his ability to leave the familiarity of Minnesota to attend college half a country away. He knew no one and learned on his own to navigate greater Boston.

Caleb graduated in four years. Had he stayed at NDSU, he would have finished in three.

Caleb graduated in four years. Had he stayed at NDSU, he would have finished in three. However, Tufts did not accept all of his college credits from high school and NDSU.

I am proud that he graduated in four years, magna cum laude.

Caleb poses in front of the school mascot, Jumbo. And, yes, that would be Jumbo of circus fame. This latest sculpture of the elephant was recently installed at Tufts.

Caleb poses in front of the school mascot, Jumbo of circus fame. This latest sculpture of the elephant was recently installed at Tufts.

I am proud, too, that he loves to learn. Caleb craves expanding his knowledge. He hopes for a research career with plans to some day attend graduate school. He’s interviewing for jobs in the Boston area. Any place would be fortunate to have him as an employee. And I’m not just saying that because I am Caleb’s mom. I have seen his focus and determination when working on tech projects. He is a problem solver, an innovator, a young man seeking solutions and answers and better ways of doing things. He wants to make a difference in this world.

Students in the School of Engineering gather for that school's commencement ceremony.

Students in The School of Engineering gather for that school’s commencement ceremony.

Commencement speaker, Emmy-award winning actor Hank Azaria who voiced numerous characters on the TV show The Simpsons, offered some good advice to graduates like Caleb. He advised the 160th Tufts graduating class to calm down, trust their instincts and they will, at the end of the day, know what to do.

The commencement ceremony begins at The School of Engineering, Tufts University.

The commencement ceremony begins for The School of Engineering, Tufts University.

Graduation is a time of adjustment and change. A scary time in many ways as young people leave the security of the educational setting. It is a time of change for Caleb and for me.

The message on this balloon probably fit the feelings of many students.

The message on this balloon probably fits the feelings of many students.

As my son continues on his life’s journey, I wish for him contentment, peace and happiness. I want him to always be passionate about his life’s chosen work, to feel joy in getting up each morning.

My husband, Randy, waits for the first of two commencement ceremonies to begin.

My husband, Randy, waits for the first of two commencement ceremonies to begin. We drove 3,029 miles round trip to attend Caleb’s graduation.

And I want him to know that, above all, he is deeply loved by his family back here in Minnesota and in Wisconsin.

FYI: Check back tomorrow for more graduation photos followed the next day by a tour of Tufts University, Medford/Somerville campus.

© Copyright 2016 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

 

Is it true about “no flannel” in Boston? January 22, 2014

UNTIL MY SON PREPARED for a flight to Boston last spring to visit three colleges, I’d never heard of Tufts University.

My son in a Tufts University sweatshirt. Edited Minnesota Prairie Roots photo.

My son in a Tufts University sweatshirt. Edited Minnesota Prairie Roots photo.

He had to spell out the name for me, T-U-F-T-S.

That was my introduction to the private research university he now attends after transferring from North Dakota State University. The move to Tufts’ Medford, Massachusetts, campus was the right one for him. He’s challenged in his studies and happy living in a metro area far from the wind-whipped plains of Fargo. I don’t necessarily think he would be where he is today, though, without that year at NDSU.

But back to Tufts, which has a current student population of nearly 11,000 with 5,255 of them undergrads.

Last Thursday I was watching NBC’s Parenthood. The TV show focuses on the lives of the Braverman family, including college student Drew. Drew’s girlfriend, Amy, is currently staying with him in his Berkeley dorm room. I missed the season 4 finale in which Amy revealed she’d gotten into Tufts.

In Thursday’s episode, Amy shared that the girls at Tufts are snobby and everyone is smart and she simply cannot return there because she doesn’t fit in.

Awhile ago, I asked my son if he ever felt out of place at Tufts. I mean, this is a college where lamb is served in the dining center and there’s a sailing team. Not exactly a part of his lower middle class upbringing.

A man of few words, he said that depends on who he is with and that even then he doesn’t let his lack of family wealth bother him. Unlike Amy on Parenthood, I’ve never heard him call anyone at Tufts “snobby.”

Financial aid at Tufts is based on need, the sole reason my son can afford to attend this distinguished university. Annual attendance cost far surpasses our yearly family income. Tufts has set a goal of “ensuring that no highly qualified applicants are turned away because their need exceeds the university’s resources,” according to information on the Giving to Tufts portion of the university’s website. Our family is grateful to Tufts for embracing that philosophy of admitting students “not based on ability to pay, but on ability, pure and simple.”

That all said, when the son was home in Minnesota for holiday break, we went clothes shopping. I swear he grew an inch or more in the three months since I’d seen him.

About one thing he was adamant: “They don’t wear flannel shirts in Boston.” This from a 19-year-old who, only after entering college, began caring about attire. Not to say he dressed poorly. But fashion simply never mattered much to him.

Now he’s back at Tufts with these new clothes: four sweaters, three pairs of jeans, grey pants, and a winter scarf (in Tufts colors).

Legendary Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox in Bemidji, Minnesota. Minnesota Prairie Roots edited file photo.

Legendary Paul Bunyan (dressed in his flannel lumberjack shirt) and Babe the Blue Ox in Bemidji, Minnesota. Minnesota Prairie Roots edited file photo.

Surprisingly, though, he took his flannel back to Boston, too. He likely can wear the shirts, unnoticed, under his new sweaters.

Had he left his flannel shirts behind in Minnesota, I would have swiped them. I take no shame in dressing like Paul Bunyan.

FYI: Click here to reach Tufts’ Facebook page and the latest on the university’s mention in the Doonesbury comic strip.

Click here to reach Wikipedia’s “Tufts University in popular culture.”

© Copyright 2014 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

 

Family love knows no distance January 15, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 6:00 AM
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File photo, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

File photo, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. The son flies Southwest, not Delta.

TUESDAY, 6:39 a.m. and I’ve just arrived home from the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport after a slow drive there on treacherous, snow-packed roads with my husband and son. The 19-year-old is on his way to Boston, back to college.

Wednesday, 6:00 a.m. and he is in Medford, Massachusetts, now, settled into his dorm, about to start his second semester at Tuft’s University.

And I am a sad mama. I go through this every time my son or my daughter, who lives 300 miles away in northeastern Wisconsin, leaves. I cannot help it. I love having my “kids,” who are not at all “kids” anymore, home. Given the distance two of them live from Minnesota, I don’t see them as often as I would like.

The son, left, the eldest, the son-in-law and the second eldest daughter.

The son, left, the eldest and her husband, and the second eldest daughter after I snapped “posed” photos when we were last together. I actually prefer this image to the perfectly posed shots given the love and affection it reveals.

We—the husband, the eldest daughter and her husband (who live in the metro), the middle daughter and the son—were all together the Friday evening before Christmas to celebrate the holidays. For that I am grateful. I treasure these times we have as a family. Many families are spread far and wide across this country and world and see each other less often than we do each other.

But when my son left this time, it was different. He’s accepted a summer internship in Boston. I don’t know when he will return to Minnesota. Over spring break? Maybe. Maybe not. Depends on his plans and the cost of a flight.

That is the reality of mothering—this separation.

Yet, distance and separation do not limit love. And for that I am grateful.

HOW DO YOU COPE with long distance separation from family? And how do you stay connected?

© Copyright 2014 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

 

Packing his bags for Boston August 28, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 6:00 AM
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HE FLEW INTO MINNESOTA from Washington state, arriving at Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato, Minnesota, with a suitcase and a clock.

His roommate came with an entourage of family and a car filled with belongings.

My friend Dave (not his real name) remembers the moment well. The roommate with all the stuff. And the roommate’s dad who surveyed the dorm room, then locked eyes on that alarm clock.

“Nice clock,” he complimented Dave, who, decades later, laughs about the comment.

My friend’s story pops into my mind as I consider my 19-year-old son’s departure early this morning for Medford, Massachusetts (near Boston), where he’s accepted transfer student admittance to Tufts University.

Will he feel like Dave, the odd man out, arriving via plane with two suitcases, a carry-on bag and his pillow?

The son poses after packing his belongings in his NDSU dorm room in May.

The son poses for a photo after packing his belongings in his North Dakota State University dorm room in May.

After minimal discussion, our family decided that, given the price of gas, food and lodging, it would not be cost effective for us to pack the son’s stuff into our van and drive east 1,400 miles to Medford and then back next spring.

I won’t miss the moving in and out of dorms that I expected would be a part of our lives for the next several years. My husband and I have done that already with our daughters, long graduated from college.

Only ?? miles to Fargo. We've already driven

On the road to Fargo.

And I definitely won’t miss the long road trips along Interstate 94 to Fargo, where our youngest attended North Dakota State University for a year, or the worry about blizzards and closed interstates.

But I will miss seeing my son settled in and the ability to visualize him in his dorm room or anywhere on the Tufts campus. There is a certain sense of security for a mother in both.

Yet, this is not about me. This is about my son, his education, his need to feel challenged, his happiness and his future. The opportunity to attend a noted and respected research university like Tufts, which offers admission to only 50 – 100 transfer student applicants per year, is huge.

The debt load that our boy will bear, however, also will be huge (compared to NDSU), even with a substantial and outstanding financial aid package. Without that needs-based funding, he couldn’t attend Tufts; we are grateful. Still, I worry about how he/we will come up with our expected family contribution toward his education. The annual cost to attend Tufts exceeds our family’s annual gross income.

My youngest brother, a successful Twin Cities attorney, tells me not to worry, that my computer engineering major son will earn good money upon graduation. I expect he’s right. Already the 19-year-old’s base hourly wage at a summer internship was higher than his dad’s base wage after more than 30 years as an automotive machinist. And everything I’ve read points to continued demand for computer engineers in jobs that pay well.

While at NDSU, my son worked and volunteered in the Technology Incubator as part of an Entrepreneurial Scholarship. He is walking away from two major scholarships at NDSU to attend Tufts University.

While at NDSU, my son worked and volunteered in the Technology Incubator as part of an Entrepreneurial Scholarship. He is walking away from two major scholarships at NDSU to attend Tufts University. This summer he lived in Rochester and worked for IBM. His work experience at both places have been great opportunities to grow and learn and build connections for his future.

If anything, I know my son is driven to learn and succeed. He’s already proven that via his academic, computer programming and gaming successes, and his experiences working for two technology companies and more.

But, still, he’s only 19 and my boy, setting off alone for Boston with his bags. And an alarm clock in his smart phone.

© Copyright 2013 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

 

Missing my boy, again January 8, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 8:11 AM
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I’LL ADMIT TO A BIT of melancholy. My son, my youngest, returned to college in Fargo on Sunday. I try not to think that he is 300 miles away to the west, just like my second daughter lives and works 300 miles to the east in Appleton, Wisconsin.

I realize they could live much more distant. Five hours by car in the big wide world is nothing really.

But to a mom accustomed to 26 years of direct face-to-face parenting, the switch to no children in the house is huge.

The funny thing is that I thought I’d adapted. And then, lo, the son returns home for three weeks of Christmas vacation and I get used to him being around and it’s kind of nice to hear that “Mom, can I have a hug?” It’s wonderful to rest my head against my boy, who towers above me. I didn’t mind washing his laundry or weaving around his belongings scattered upon the living room floor. I found myself planning meals based on what he might enjoy; one day I even made his favorite banana cream pie.

Yes, I rather spoiled him.

But not too much.

He accused me in one particular moment of being a helicopter mom. I try hard not to do that, to interfere, to suggest, to offer too much advice. But apparently in this instance I had. I suppose that is one of the toughest parts of parenting, realizing that sometimes lessons are better learned on their own. Miss a deadline and you suffer the consequences. Make the wrong decision and you have to deal with the outcome. Yet, steering our offspring from erring seems a natural parental response.

My 18-year-old son, shortly before my husband and I left him in his dorm room on the campus of North Dakota State University four weeks ago.

Our 18-year-old son, shortly before my husband and I left him in his dorm room on the campus of North Dakota State University in mid-August.

Prior to holiday break, I’d seen my son only four times since mid-August. And each time I noticed subtle changes in him which indicate growth in maturity and independence. He seems also to appreciate me more.

I continue to be impressed by his determination, his constant desire and drive to learn (often on his own), his focus, his discipline.

On numerous occasions, as he huddled over his laptop and a physics book these past few weeks, I had to remind him that he was on Christmas break and should, therefore, take a break from studying. But he seemed persistent in preparing for the physics exam he will soon take in an effort to test out of a class.

The afternoon he bounded down the stairs to tell me he made the dean’s list with a 4.0 GPA and that he’s six credits shy of junior year status going into his second semester at North Dakota State University, he was beaming and I wrapped him in a proud mama hug.

One of my all-time favorite photos of my son at age 5.

One of my all-time favorite portraits of my son at age 5.

In moments like that, I gaze at him and wonder how nearly 19 years could have passed already. Since birth he’s been his own person, the biggest baby in the hospital at the time weighing in at 10 pounds, 12 ounces. He walked at 10 months. He was putting together 100-piece puzzles by age four. Legos were his passion. He taught himself all about computers. He taught himself to yo-yo and then how to unicycle and then yo-yoing and unicycling together. Now he’s learning juggling.

His quest for knowledge seems unstoppable.

A current image of my son in the new eyeglasses he got over Christmas break. he brought home three frames to try for style and then his two sisters and I chose our favorite and we all picked this one. His oldest sister said the style fits his personality and makes him look smart. I agree and think they also age him, which is not a bad thing when you are almost 19 and do not want to look like you are still in high school. Note that these are the try-on frames, which explains the writing on the lens and the tag on the bow.

A current image of my son in the new eyeglasses he got over Christmas break. Note that these are the try-on frames, which explains the writing on the lens and the tag on the bow. I think the frames fit his personality and age him, in a good way.

The movement of time is also certainly unstoppable and I am reminded of that nearly daily, but especially when I consider the growth of children.

While my son was sleeping in this past Saturday morning, I was waiting in a check-out line behind a young father, his first-born cradled in a car seat in a shopping cart. To pass the time, with the father’s permission, I began interacting with his six-month-old roly-poly baby. Jacob smiled and cooed and “talked” in that charming baby way that melts a mother’s heart. And I couldn’t help but advise the new dad to cherish these moments because, before he knew it, his boy would be all grown up, just like mine.

TELL ME, ONCE our children leave home, do we ever truly stop missing them?

AND FOR THOSE OF YOU who have lost children too soon, how do you honor them, hold close their memories, even cope?

© Copyright 2013 Audrey Kletscher Helbling