|Damien, Shawn, Alex - buddies|
When we send our young people off, I'm sure we all feel a certain amount of trepidation. Whether they're going to school, into the military, off to live with the other parent, or even to a job, we become anxious. There are so many scenarios of trouble that we can imagine for them, especially if we don't know the area where they're going.
Will they make good friends? Will they be lonely, homesick? Will anyone watch over them like I do? Will they be safe? That is always the biggest question.
I was trying to put some perspective on this for myself yesterday, and thinking about the "Hero's Journey", that staple of almost all fairy tales and myths. There comes a time in each of our lives when we must make our way in the world. There is a quest to pursue - the key that will unlock a door that takes us forward. Along the way there will be mentors and guides who may offer us their wisdom or tools that will help. And there will be challenges and obstacles, opportunities for choices. There ARE real dangers out there. That is the scarey part. As parents and grandparents, we know them, too well. But there are also treasures, in terms of people and experiences, that are worth the journey and the risk.
To hold back our children, to try to keep them nested, is impossible. And would not be good for them. And it's a fiction that we can ever keep anyone safe.
So we hope that what we've taught them will serve them. We send them care packages. And we keep them in our prayers.