The working part of the vacation, a meeting of Realtors in Denver, was productive.

What I’ll always remember, though, about this vacation was that my 21-year old son, John, began his return to being himself around his parents. As a little kid, he was warm, clever, super empathetic and a joy to be around.

But then came Freshman year in high school and like all boys he began to separate himself from his parents. It was time to create his own identity. It was natural. It had to be done. But it was sad.

I knew that great kid would eventually be back. Eventually, but when?

Last year, his Junior year in college, we could see the thaw coming. He became more natural around us and he would even start up a conversation occasionally!

Liz and I knew the world had changed this summer when he accepted our invitation to join us on part of our little vacation. John’s little brother couldn’t understand why John would possibly want to join his parents on vacation when he didn’t have to.

My best memory is spending all afternoon Thursday on the Plaza in Santa Fe, New Mexico watching the people, drinking coffee and chatting with my son John, just the two of us.