I'm having a mommy moment today.
I've been reading all of the "back-to-school" updates on social media: Kids starting Kindergarten...1st grade...jr high...high school...and the ones whose kids are seniors this year.
I feel ya. All of ya.
Because I'm old, but some things you never forget. Some emotions go so deep and affect you so profoundly...they are tattooed on the very core of your being.
Back-to-school days are some of those kinds of memories for me...because not only did my kids have the butterflies...I did, too!
With Joshua, each day was one of those drop-him-off-and-take-a-deep-breath kind of day. I would pray for him all day long and hold my breath...hoping I wouldn't get a call or an email from the teacher. OR THE PRINCIPAL.
And then it would finally be time to pick him up. I would always, ALWAYS get there early...anxious, expectant, nervous...at what went on during his day.
With our other 3 kids, I had the same type of feelings...they were just different.
But with all 4 I worried: "are they okay? are they safe? are they feeling okay? are they making friends? are they being bullied? are they lost? are they sad? are they being friendly? are they being included?"
So, if you've read here much, you know that our 4th child...our youngest...our baby boy...our wittle, tiny, premature, cancer's-butt-kickin' baby boy...is starting college this month. In 16 days, to be exact. It makes my tummy hurt just thinking about it.
In fact, I think I need to go potty.
And, if that's not enough, the Freshmen at his school have the option of going on an orientation adventure, called FOOT (Freshman Outdoor Orientation Trip). Back in the olden days, right before I started at OBU...we had a weekend of activities at the local lake. Right before Holly started at OBU in 2007, they had a New Student Retreat. She went on it and had a blast! CLARK is getting to go on a 5 day trip to East Tennessee. He will be hiking, camping, swimming, rafting, cliff-jumping, zip-lining, etc.
I am so excited for him to have this opportunity...BUT, proving the point that no matter how old your children are, you are concerned for them and for their safety: He is 19. I am Mommy. I am concerned.
Because, "will he be okay? will he be safe? will he feel okay? will he make friends? will he be bulled? will he get lost? will he feel sad? will he be friendly? will he be included?"
He knows approximately ONE person going on this trip, and that is his soon-to-be roommate...who he has met in person ONE TIME, back in April.
I know that Clark is good around people. I know that he's typically a leader. I know that he's typically an encourager. BUT, this trip is taking him wayyyy out of his comfort-zone. He loves the outdoors and all of that...but, just like his brother, Logan, he is not a fan of the heights. It's so odd to me, because these younger two boys of mine JUMP into life with both feet. They barrel through things at the speed of light...making noise and knocking down barriers, squeezing every drop of excitement they can out of each day...and embracing every moment. How are they afraid of heights?
Did I mention that Clark's group would be zip-lining and cliff-jumping?
When Logan graduated from high school, he went on a Senior Trip with our church. They went on a trip "up north" to go on all of these big (scary) roller-coasters...Ohio, Niagara Falls...I can't remember where else. Jim and I said, "Logan will never go on this trip..." because it would be like his worst nightmares coming true. But he signed up...and he went...and he had fun! He said that he was so, so, so scared...but he was determined to conquer his fears. So, he got in those lines and he rode those rides. It's still not his most favorite thing in the world to do...but he did love it.
I'm hoping this will happen for Clark, because I think this trip will be a huge opportunity for personal growth for him. And I hope he will make a lot of new friends. And I PRAY that he will use this week to seek and communicate with God...to meditate on His words...to "center" himself spiritually on the Solid Rock...before the waves of life hit him. Like they hit all of us.
Also, last night, he was talking to Jim when he looked over at me and said, "I don't think you're gonna want to know about this, MOM...but we have a "solo" time when we're out there." And he looked at me for a real long time.
And I don't know what YOU think it means if you read the word, "solo" on an outdoor adventure itinerary...but hiking into the woods all alone, in an unfamiliar place, with wolves and bears and mountain lions and no mommies and snakes and poisonous things and cliffs that you can't see because it's dark..." does not and did not top my list.
Honestly, that didn't even enter my mind.
I thought it was when you shared your testimony or something personal about yourself.
Or maybe when they made you sing.
And I know there are a lot of analogies that can be made between Clark's "solo..." and sending our children off to school:
*how they can feel like they're lost in the wilderness;
*how they can feel alone or scared;
*how they can feel unsure of themselves;
*how it seems dark and the way is not clear;
BUT MY KID WILL ACTUALLY BE IN THE WOODS.
And the thought of my baby boy being in the woods all alone? Marty is not a fan.
Jesus be near (to Clark, too!).
"Your righteousness is like the mighty