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Tonight, Mary reminded me of a deal our family had, which made college possible.

After she finishes her computer certification course, she will have to pass a certification test. Today she sent me a flurry of emails with possible dates and times for the test. All of them involved weekdays and time slots in the middle of the day. I groaned silently at my desk. It would mean taking another day or afternoon off. I am trying to hoard my remaining days off so that I can take the three days before Thanksgiving off and get a week of vacation out of the year. I felt resentful of her use of my paid time off.

Then the guilt set in. I love Mary, I scolded myself. I should be ready to do anything to help her succeed, to help her launch her ship from the harbor. So why was I wrestling with this very important step for her?

Tonight on the way to her class, I asked her about the test and the times she had sent me. I told her that I would need to take a whole day or a half off for the test.

“No,” she said. “You can take me in the morning before work. I’ll stay there the whole day, and you can pick me up.”

“Your Dad could pick you up, you know. His work is over that way.”

She reminded me of our college deal. We drove our kids to college and picked them up every day. Pick up and drop off times had to be scheduled around our work schedule. Very rarely would we pick them up on our lunch hour. So they had to hang around campus all day, find a place to be, find things to do. None of them could drive and/or had a car during their college days.

But Mary had already figured out how she was going to get to the test while respecting my vacation time.

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(This is a picture of Will trudging off to class after being dropped off.)

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