he's officially left US soil...next stop Tel Aviv. With a mixed heart of joy and anticipation I hugged Alex goodbye this morning as he headed back to school to pack up and meet up with his class before departure time. Besides being totally jealous that he gets to tour the ancient land of Israel for the next two weeks, I am even more excited that he has the privilege of having the opportunity to go. Even though he's been off to school for months, I was still surprised to tear up as I followed him down the Pike this morning when he turned one way...towards the other side of the world...and I turned another. And then, maybe I felt it again a little bit this evening when he texted from the airport saying they were about to board the jet plane. Big as he is...in my mind's eye he still occasionally reverts back to that little boy with the blond bowl cut and I have to force myself not to follow behind him at a safe distance - dodging evergreen ground cover so he can't see me. He's a big boy...but once a mom, always a mom. What a great journey!