I’ve done this before. You’d think I’d know the drill by now. That I could be cool and all, oh whatever, about it. But I can’t. Evidenced by the fact that it’s the middle of the night and I’m still up watching my flight tracking app. That little plane tick, ticking across the world on my screen. It’s the worst when it’s just directly above ocean.
I put my boy on a plane today. A thirteen hour flight across the world, his first time away from home for more that 5 days of summer camp. A whole month of not hugging me before bed, a whole month of not hearing the words – Hey mom! Check out this meme! A month of not watching 24 with him. A month of not hearing that deep voice and laughing over the hair that’s accumulating on his legs.
I shouldn’t have written that last paragraph. *gulp*
For some reason, I dread them being up in the air though I know it’s safer than walking down the sidewalk. For some reason I can’t sleep well, I toss and turn, until I know their feet are on solid ground. Once they hit earth (gently) I know it’s nothing but adventure and I can’t be fearful anymore. Because who wants to be worrying about someone who’s having the time of their life? Not me.
It’s the first spreading of wings, a trip like this. The first time they get to be who they are out in the world without us whispering from the sidelines. The first time they get to choose what they’re going to eat and if they’re going to brush their teeth and how they’re going to interact with people and if they’ll use their manners at all.
It’s times like this we hope we’ve taught them well. It’s times like this we hope they were listening.
From their littlest years until now we’ve been filling up their backpack. In one zippered pouch is personal hygiene, in another is emotional stability, and that one over there holds the wisdom of God’s word. There are pockets filled with how to treat others and make them feel welcome and others lined with how to stand up for yourself and be confident in who you’ve been made to be. There’s a secret compartment that carries the conversations about love and relationships and the butterflies that may enter your tummy when certain girls talk to you. There are patches sewn on with life verses and family phrases and reminders of what we stand for.
Day by day of his life we’ve been filling the backpack. Now as he’s off in the world, without us right there to guide him, he has it to draw from. He knows what each pocket and zipper hold and it’s up to him to use what he’s been given. To pull it out when he needs it, to gain strength just from knowing it’s there, or to leave it tucked away.
We pray that he has the resources to soar. We long for him to live this adventure with integrity and with wisdom. We pray that he’s been loved so well, his natural inclination is to show love. We pray that he’s been discipled in a way that will help him now disciple others. We pray that the plane on the flight tracker keeps ticking along until it lands safely in Dublin. We still just really pray that he brushes his teeth.