Sunday, November 28, 2010

Leaving on a Jet Plane

I left him at the airport at 5:30 this morning. I just want to state for the record that I did not cry. Not even a little. I know, it shocked me too.

It's not like it's a big deal. After all, he is twenty. He's flown before and he is simply returning to Idaho.

Yet, it's not really that simple.

Tuesday he leaves for India.


He'll be off continent for ten weeks. During that time he'll be practicing all the things he's learned in Idaho. He's in for the experience of a lifetime.

This trip will be so much different from the one he took to Prague back when he was sixteen. You may remember what a mess I was during those two weeks. I wasn't prepared for the worry and anxiety of not being able to fix any problem that came up, but he's older this time. He has more life experience under his belt.

He can drive.

He's a man.

Still, all I see is an eight-year-old who wants to build a fort in our front pasture and shoot his buddy with an airsoft pistol.

Before we left the airport, at the ungodly hour of 6:00am, we grabbed some coffee (yes, I made an exception and drank some - yum!). As we sat sipping our delightfully sweet brew another family sat at a table across from us with their twenty something year old son.

Only he was in uniform.

The soldier's mom and I made eye contact and I realized that we are both sending our sons off to somewhere scary. Yet, we both wore brave faces, void of the concern that squeezed our hearts.

Perhaps she sending her son off to some place hot and sandy. A place filled with roadside bombs and snipers.  Her son is a soldier, serving his country.

I am sending my son off to fulfill his calling, in a place that may or may not be dangerous. India has its share of   market place bombs, deadly bacteria, and various other scary things. My son is a soldier for the Lord.

We mom's are funny creatures. We are so proud of the men (and women) our children become and yet we cling to a past when they needed us. Sigh.

My boy is prepared for new situations and has made good decisions in the past. I know he'll be fine, but ten weeks is a mighty long time. I can only imagine when the Soldier's mom from the airport will lay eyes on her little boy again.

It's tough letting them grow up, biting your tongue so that you don't remind them to do some trivial piece of business they already took care of. It's hard to not help them pack, or ask them if they have their passport, or their ticket. After all, they aren't stupid.

Boy has already landed in Idaho. In forty-eight hours he'll be on that plane heading farther than he's ever been from home. I don't know when I'll hear from him. I don't know how he'll do laundry, or what he'll eat. I just know he'll be okay.


Girl announced that maybe she'll do a DTS with YWAM in the future. She'd like to travel and serve too.

My heart stopped then.

But it was okay, because she's only three-years-old and I don't think you can leave the continent when you are that young.



Island Rider said...

Or ask them three times if they are sure they don't want lunch before they leave for work. Thanks for this. A reminder to back off and let them be.

Sandcastle Momma said...

It's hard to let them go but seeing that soldier's mom must have really put things in perspective.

Your boy (man) will be fine - you've done a good job with him and the Lord will watch over him.

As hard as it is to watch them when they hurt themselves when they're little seems trite compared to watching them fly the coop.