I have let go of him before.
With quivering lip.
And shaky knees.
But this....this request for solo flight into the unknown was beyond what the lining in my stomach should have to handle.
Summer camp for Chase has always been a great experience. He loves the independence it brings as well as the adventure. Bonding with old friends and new counselors reinforces the camp camaraderie that beckons his return each summer.
This year, as an active twelve year old with specific interests, the date of the summer camp coincided with a sport camp that Chase really wanted to attend. While it is still one that is overnight, it takes place in our town, on a campus in which I am familiar, in an environment that is controlled and well monitored.
I responded with admitted relief when Chase discussed with us his desire to change camps this summer. The distance of the previous camp coupled with the remote location always caused me great concern and intense gastrointestinal distress. All the angst, the worry, and the wringing of hands would be but a distant, unpleasant memory.
But then our rascally church interfered, popping my summer security bubble, cutting away the safety net I have so diligently weaved under my children, by announcing a summer trip that would take our youth group to the Colorado mountains. The trip would last ten days, with a three-day ride on a tour bus to and from their destination.
Not. Gonna. Happen.
The distance between each is a kajillion miles and beyond what my apron strings can reach.
And Chase is twelve, with questionable grooming habits.
And for a child who keeps money in his SHOE, how will he responsibly pay for meals while trying not to get lost, abducted or left behind?
Not. Gonna. Happen.
So how is it that I found myself watching this monstrosity leave our church, with thirty youth, four young leaders and an Australian driver?
And my oldest boy waving goodbye joyfully from the back of the bus.