Monday, May 01, 2006

Letting Them Go.

My child (yeah, I know not really a child any longer being that he is 20, but he will always be my child) is planning on spending at least 70 plus days on the AT (Appalacian Trail) hiking alone. Are we worried? You betcha. I am not EVEN allowing myself to dwell on the multitude of things that can happen. Hubby thinks a personal GPS tracker is the way to go. Suggested this to The Son today, got a "NO WAY! I will attach it to someone's car". Hmmm, so do I convince him it is a good idea? Not sure on this one.

Personal trackers seem a bit too Orwellian for me. Knowing someone's every movement. Being able to track where they have been, to where they are. I think even though every day I will be worried about him, that this is something he needs to do, in fact I think it is something he must do, and I definitely know that if someone wanted to put a tracker on me, I would be totally against it. Anyway he will have his cell phone with him.

Funny, we always read about how it is us mother's who are overprotective, unsure of our child's capabilities, but in this instance his father is fighting this every step of the way, having no confidence in his sad to me....I know he can do it.....I know he has the knowledge, the grit, the desire......I am proud of him for wanting to do this, I think he will learn an amazing amount of things, most especially about himself. So even though, I will most likely have no fingernails (from biting them) until the end of July, I do support him in this endeavor.

For every question I ask him, he has the answer, "Yes, Mom, on my list. Yes, Mom, I have thought of that. Yes, Mom, I did research that. Yes, Mom, yes yes yes Mom, I am going home now Mom." Poor kid, and that is only from me, his father is so much worse.

I ask three things of him basically, to eat as healthily as possible on the limited rations he will be carrying, to keep a journal, and to take photographs.

I have always considered myself an optimist, but I am already steeling myself for the sight of my bug-bitten, sunburned, whip-thin son at the end of July. At almost 6'3" and well over 250 pounds I can only imagine how he will look upon his return, but mostly I think he will look happy, content, and proud, especially if he makes his goal of 1000 plus miles.

For me the best part of this trip is that I am going to be driving him down to Springer Mountain, we will have a couple days of driving time to once again connect, to talk, time we have not had for over 2 years. I am looking forward to that, and I am also looking forward to the slow drive home, to actually have some time for just me, oh yeah! I do love road trips! Then I get the return trip of picking him up somewhere in Virginia? Hmm, I haven't asked him where exactly he plans on ending up. More questions to ask.

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