Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Life lessons on Hwy 285

Hey Peeps—


Tonight I had a conversation with my toddler I shall entitle, "Why we do not lick ourselves, or others".  It was reminiscent of a conversation I had with Will about 7 years ago when he was 3.  That was one called, "Why we never lick a cat".  Three year olds are funny.  And also make a person want to crawl under a rock.  With a gigantic bowl of chocolate chip cookie dough, that has enough sugar to put a person into a diabetic coma. 

Last weekend we travelled down to Southern Colorado to Pagosa Springs to see my mom for a quick getaway.  If you haven't travelled Hwy 285 through our beautiful state, then you are missing out.  The only real downside is Villa Grove, but seriously, you can blink and almost not even have to see the "Southwestern Art and Liquor Store".    

Right before we headed to Pagosa, Billy and I made a big purchase.  We bought a van.   Both our other cars are over 10 years old, which is like 12 in dog years, so obviously we needed to upgrade.  We aren't really fancy car people, but this car is what you might call nice.  The best part about it is that it still smells fresh and new.  That is until we decided to grab some Chick-fil-a in Denver as we were heading out of town.  Before we hit Kenosha Pass, I guess you could say we had "broken it in" with dirty napkins, spilled ketchup containers, and a whole host of different smells I'd like to forget. 

Pagosa Springs is gorgeous.  We spent Saturday playing in the San Juan River and catching horny toad lizards up on the hill by Gramma's house.  We ate enough carbs to run a marathon, and thankfully this year, there were no bats in the house to suck our blood while we slept. 

On our way home from Pagosa, we made a planned stop in Bailey to drop off our 10 year old sweet Will at Camp Idrahaje. He has been begging to go to camp for at least three years.  He finally wore me down and I said yes.  I dreaded the moment we would drive away from his sweet face since last December when I reserved him a spot.  But the real truth is, I've dreaded that moment since I held him in my arms for the very first time. 

Once we got all checked in, we met up with Will's buddy Riley, and helped him get settled in his teepee home for the next six nights.  First he placed all his toiletries that might attract bears into a Rubbermaid.   Then he found his mat and laid his sleeping bag out.  That's right about the time I began to have the Mom panic come over me.  I stayed cool of course, as I began to fret about Will getting scared at 3 am.  Or freezing in his sleeping bag.  Or catching pneumonia.  Or getting eaten by a bear.  Naturally I kept all my anxiety hidden and as I hugged him over and over (and over) and told him I loved him so much. 

The five of us said our goodbyes and quietly walked to the car.  The drive home was even quieter, and I wished so much that Will was in the back seat interrupting my favorite song to say, "Hey mom!  Fun fact!  Did you know that a Canadian penny is worth more than an American penny?" 

Billy keeps reminding me that Will is having the time of his life.  He's learning he can do things on his own, and beginning to understand that before long, he will become a man.  Will is learning that he doesn't need to hold my hand and that he can pick out his own food.  He is learning he can climb and run and swim and shoot arrows and go to bed without a hug from his mom.  For the first time, Will is learning he is capable, strong, and independent.   I wish I could say I find joy in all of this growth and maturity, and while I appreciate all that camp is teaching Will, the truth is I'd rather have my sweet little blond headed boy safe at home with me. 

We all have things to learn this summer, and the one I hate most is the one I have to learn every day.  Letting go is the hardest of all.  Encouraging our kids to become their own person and find their way in this world is what we want.  We passionately pray they cling to God as some nights are cold and lonely, and might even feel like there's a bear lurking nearby.  We pray they feel the warmth of the sun, see the hope in tomorrow, and most of all, know in Whom their identity exists.  Tonight as we pray for Will, we ask God for safety, fun, stories, laughter, and special memories that will last a lifetime.  And for our boy to come home knowing just a little bit more about who he is becoming.  Thank You God, for a Will like ours.