One of the hardest and most rewarding things about parenting must be sending your child off to college. Hard because it’s time to accept that they are fully grown up, responsible adults now, and they don’t need you anymore (theoretically at least). Rewarding because you have done a great job raising a great kid who is now ready to step out alone into the world and make something of themselves.

This heartfelt post by proud dad Bud perfectly captures the bittersweet moments of seeing your children fly the coop, as that precious and deep bond necessarily loosens a little, to allow them to stand on their own two feet.

Bud and his boys had a cherished weekly tradition of hitting up the local Dairy Queen for some ice cream after dinner. A solid bit of bonding time between a father and his sons – something that they all loved doing together.

As the boys grew and gradually headed off to college, the final picture shows Bud alone at their table. As proud as he is to see his sons grow into responsible and successful young men, he still feels a pang of sadness that things will never be the same again and those precious moments will now be few and far between.

It goes by so quickly, doesn’t it?

Image credits: BrooksBarber

Image credits: BrooksBarber

Brooks, one of Bud’s sons, would later upload his dad’s post onto his Twitter page along with the caption “Why did my dad have to go this hard on Insta and why am I crying in Nashville right now?”

He also gave a short update to the over 1 million people who liked and shared the tweet, assuring them that the tradition is far from over.  “To give everyone some peace of mind, my dad and I have an incredible relationship and yes my little brothers and I will be heading back to DQ with pops soon.”

Here’s how people reacted to the short yet heartfelt little tale

I guess the moral of the story here is to cherish every moment of raising your kids – although the days can be long and you can have your ups and downs, ultimately you will miss them when they are gone! (Also kids – go visit your damn parents!)