Tuesday, June 9, 2015

I Asked My Son to Take Good Care of my Heart

I didn't spend much time on my computer during Sunday or Monday.  Instead, I traveled 954 miles in a car. 


road trip, Montana to Wyoming

It was a bitter-sweet trip.  My husband and I took my son down to Wyoming, and dropped him off for a month of backpacking, as part of a wilderness and leadership program. We will have no contact the entire time he is gone, and it was more than a little hard for this mom to say good-bye!  I am excited for him though, as he has looked forward to this trip for months, and I am very proud of him for being so adventurous.


family photo
We had to get a photo together before we set out for Wyoming.
This will be the longest I have ever gone without talking to either of my children.  My daughter is far away at college, but we talk or text as often as either of us desire.  When she was 13, she attended a horse camp - also out in the wilderness. We had no communication then either, and I remember that was hard for me too!


horses, Montana
My daughter during her week of horse camp in the wilderness of Montana
Part of good parenting is supporting our children's independence and encouraging them to fulfill their dreams.  My friend Lana, from Two Teens and Their Mama summed it up well when she published this quote on her blog, "To have a child is to decide forever to have your heart go wandering around outside of your body." I did remind my son that a part of my heart would be with him while he is gone, and asked him to please take very good care of it.  

I must admit, I will be counting the days until we are driving those miles again, and picking up instead of dropping off my son!


driving, the Western US
The weather was perfect and the scenery throughout our entire trip was absolutely stunning!

Have you ever driven through the western mountain states of the USA?


This post may be linked to one of the great link-up parties I follow and list on my blog. Check them out!

14 comments :

  1. How exciting for him and hard for you! My son went to volunteer at a camp about 12 hours away for three weeks when he was 15. I remember feeling the same way you do. I hope it's a great experience for your son and that the time passes quickly for you!

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    1. Thanks Marie. Exciting for him and hard for me is absolutely true - I am very happy he has this opportunity though.

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  2. Yes, I have driven through the western mountain states -- I live there! I remember when my daughter went to Europe for a month on her own -- it was hard on this mom but daughter learned so much more about independence than she already knew! Hard to let go but your kids will do you proud -- trust me!

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    1. Exactly Carol - and we are lucky to live where we do, aren't we?!

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  3. I think the hardest part is in the goodby: "Have fun! See you when you return." I know when my Fave has traveled abroad for weeks at a time, especially when he went to Israel a few years back, I found myself settling into him being away. That said, I was able to hear from him at least once while he was gone, and he even surprised me with a quick FaceTime from a restaurant.

    That said, as I read your post about your not-so-see-ones-anymore heading out into the "wilderness," I couldn't help but think what a great job you've done raising them to be independent, and how lucky they are to have such an experience!

    Much to be proud of, Susan!

    Oh, and Lana's quote is amazing!!

    Much fondness,
    ~AE

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    1. Thank you for such a lovely comment, Annah Elizabeth. And yes, I am very, very proud.

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  4. Susan, thank you so much for mentioning me today! I just love that quote - and it's so true. Your kids seem like amazing people and I'm sure your son will have the best time on his adventure, and learn so much. He'll be back before you know it - easy for me to say! Can't wait to see you this weekend!

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    1. This may be the first summer ever that I have wished the days away Lana - but I can't wait till we pick up my son, and hear all about his adventures! And - I also can't wait to see you!

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  5. Letting go must be soooo hard.
    I came across this quote the other day which struck me as spot-on.
    'He is not walking away from me,
    but toward who he is meant to be.'
    Which doesn't make it any easier.

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    1. What a beautiful quote. Fortunately, I really like the direction in which he is walking - so it does help. Thank you.

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  6. It's so hard to see them go and not be going with them! I always hated it myself. I've spent more time away from my son than with my daughter since she's always chosen to stay pretty close, but the day he went into basic training I thought my heart would burst. I thought it was the worst day of my life! I was wrong the worst day was when he boarded that plane that would take him to Afghanistan for a year! He will be back before you know it! I love that quote from Lana as well! I hope you two have fun this coming weekend! I wish I were there with you two!

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    1. I think you do understand how I feel Rena - but your situation must have been so much harder! Lana and I wish you were joining us as well!!

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  7. I really understand what you are going through. My brother went camping with a buddy when he was an older teen. That was before cell phones! They actually got lost in the mountains but they were safe. However, at home we did NOT know it. To add to the worry, a news report told of a killer in that area. There was a manhunt for him. My mom was so hysterically worried we were concerned that she might need to go to the hospital. What a relief when the rangers located the boys safe and sound. Phew!

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    1. I'm so glad it ended well for your brother. My son's group is out there without cell phones as well. He is getting really good wilderness and leadership instruction throughout the month though, so it is not like he is just out there wandering around alone and unprepared. To be honest, ever since I saw the movie Deliverance, I have worried more about people than animals when I've been in unpopulated areas! The “killer on the loose” would definitely add a reason to worry!

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