My alarm went off at 4 a.m. It wasn’t so much that I mind getting up early, but the thought of driving Amy to San Diego to catch a plane that would take her to the other side of the world made me want to hit the snooze button- for about the next 4 years.
Despite not being a morning person, Amy was up and ready. She was heading toward South Korea on a very special mission- to see her brother, Scott, serving in the Amy.
The trip was something the two of them hatched up one evening after a long Skype call. He wasn’t coming home for the holidays and was homesick. She missed him and was totally up for an adventure. They made the arrangements, bought tickets, and paid for a rush order on Amy’s passport.
When we got to the airport, I gently kissed her on the cheek and gave her a tight hug, followed by another. “Give that one to Scott from me.”
Then, her passport tucked in her bag and pulling the blue carry-on bag with everything she would need for a week, she headed down the corridor toward the ticket counter.
I had a wise friend advise me once that if your kids are old enough to get themselves somewhere, chances are they are old enough to be there. But, when that “somewhere” is on the other side of the world it seems easier to say than to live out. At least from where I was standing. Next the curb. Trying not to cry. Maybe, at 18, she is ready.
Maybe, at 51, I am not.
Sometimes I don’t think I am ready for this phase of my life to be over. Yet, when Amy got to Korea after a long flight and Scott snapped a selfie of the two of them together I knew, this is their adventure and one they were ready for.
Parenting isn’t easy, we have so much to teach our kids, but we also have so much to learn along the way. Which, I guess, is part of what makes life interesting for all of us. One adventure after another.
“All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.” J.R.R. Tolkien