Today, we dropped off our oldest for Young Life Wilderness Camp. He’s going to spend a week backpacking and roughing it in the mountains of Colorado, hopefully making new friends, learning a lot about himself, and seeing God’s glory through His creation.
I just know he’s going to have the time of his life! You know, there’s something quite liberating in pitching tents, sleeping on the ground, sitting around a campfire, and pooing in the woods.
But before he could get to the backpacking, he had to get on the bus…
Here’s how our very last exchange went just before he climbed aboard the bus:
Me: “I love you son! Have a great time and we’ll catch you on the flip-side.”
Him: “I love you, too. Huh?”
Me: “It’s just a silly expression. Okay, buddy, hop on the bus and have a great time! Bye!”
Him: “Hold on. Let’s take one more picture together; I just can’t get enough pictures of me and my parents together.”
Me: “Okay, look, son, you can get on the bus now. No more pictures; we have enough. They’re waiting.”
Him: “But, I don’t want to go! I love you and Father too much! Please don’t make me go!”
Me: “Son, we love you, too, but you’ll be just fine while you’re away. It’ll be good for you. A little freedom and time with your friends.”
Him: “Yes, but how will I make it for a full week, in the wilderness, with my friends, but not you?”
Me: “You’ll have fun, I promise! Now, cut the umbilical cord and GET. ON. THAT. BUS!!! Your friends are starting to stare.”
Him: (crying uncontrollably) “I don’t care what my friends think! They should only wish they had a mother as wonderful as you! They should see what it really means for a son to love and honor his mother! I will miss you Mother! I love you!!”
Me: “Yeah, yeah. Now move it, buster. I’ve got things to do and people to see. Ba-bye.”
At least, that’s how I remember it.
He says it went like this, but I don’t believe him:
Me: (while hugging my son tightly, his eyes bulging, his face turning blue) “I love you, son.”
Him: “I love you, too, Mom. Bye.”
Me: (squeezing tighter) “I’ll miss you.”
Me: “Don’t get eaten by a bear.”
Him: “Um, okay, Mom. Bye. …Mom. Stop hugging me. I’ve got to go. You’re hurting me!”
Me: “Please promise me this one thing before you leave your loving mother: Promise this will be the very last time you’ll ever leave me and your father. Promise. Promise!”
Him: “Mom, I can’t promise that. You know that. What about college next year?”
Me: “You don’t need college! You’re smart enough! Just stay home. Wait! I can home school you! You can get a job. I’ll keep doing all your laundry, cooking all your meals, and giving you all the gas money you need!”
Him: “Don’t be ridiculous! I can’t stay home! I need to be on my own! I need the freedom! You’re crazy, woman!”
Me: “Crazy about you, kiddo!”
Him: “Mom, really. I’ve got to go. My friends are waiting, they’re staring. You’re making a scene.”
Me: (crying uncontrollably) “Okay…But call me!”
Him: “Mom. I can’t call. I’ll be backpacking. In the wilderness. We can’t use our phones. I’ll be fine, Mom.”
Me: “…Okay… Then, text me.”
Me: “Wait! Don’t put beans up your nose.”
Him: “Right. Good-Bye, Mom.” (Steps on bus, peeling me off his legs as he is climbing the steps…) “Daaaddd, would you get her out of here?”
I think ThrillCam is wrong.
Either way, I pray my son has a great time, is safe and protected, and seeks God’s face while far away from his home, sweet, home.
Have a happy weekend, y’all!