My son has left for three days of wilderness backpacking and hiking with an inter-generational church group. This makes me, shall we say, slightly anxious.
Let me clarify.
The people don’t make me anxious. They are individually and collectively wonderful, and Nathan has known near all of ’em for most of his life, some more than others. They are skilled professionals, with lots of experience and years hiking. My son doing this without either Greg or me being there is what makes me anxious.
I’m not sure this degree of anxiety was a parenting requirement. No matter how excited the kid is by his getting to do this. Nor how disappointed he might have been if I had said, “Sorry, m’boyo — you just have to wait until next year when dad can go, too. Mom can’t handle the worry.”
Letting go is clearly not one of my strengths. Greg and I will meet him at the end of the trail in Holden Village on Tuesday. My thinking brain knows he has what he needs, and what he chose to not take will provide some valuable learning for him (i.e., the pad for underneath the sleeping bag . . . *sigh* . . . )
The rest of me is worrying: Will he remember to take his meds? Will he be warm enough at night? Will he take it easy and stay hydrated? Will he practice good trail etiquette and be safe? Will he ask for help if he needs it?
Well, my little prayer mantra for during this time:
Father in Heaven
Through this day
While he hikes and while he plays
Keep him safe from every harm
Keep him safe within Your arms.
If I say that enough, like a Buddhist chant, it ought to help ease some of the anxiety.