Recently my middle son turned 19. You all may know me as an athletic sort prone to running challenging races, but birthing him was one of my greatest physical accomplishments following the Caesarian delivery I had with my first son. While I don’t clearly remember the pain of pushing out an 8+ lb baby sans medication, I do vividly recall the sense of power I felt when that 18 hour endurance test was over – I knew I was capable of meeting anything life threw my way.
While Liam had been a placid baby, Griffin was eager to get moving. He climbed out of his crib when he was 7 months old and was full out running by 9 months. His first word was “go,” yelled at the car in front of us after the light turned green and they hadn’t moved quickly enough. He was a dreadful liar as a young boy and the commitment he demonstrated to his untruths was remarkable – he stuck to his stories with a fierceness that was almost as impressive as his ability to take off and disappear in crowds and at public events. It was obvious that he had places to go.
I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise that this boy-man of mine has decided to head to an organic farm in Thailand as a volunteer through WWOOF. He leaves in early July and will be gone for three months and it all feels like too far and too long. I had hoped that he would maybe get his feet wet with a domestic trip first – maybe Oregon or California before heading all the way to the other side of the globe, but that’s not his way.
Of all my children, he’s the most like me, however, he has a distinct lack of caution which, perhaps, comes from knowing your parents have always been there to catch you if you should fall – a luxury unfamiliar to me. I admire his spirit of adventure, and am really proud of his interest in exploring an unknown part of the world, but I’m nervous. Will he remember to use sunscreen? Can he do farm work without injury? Is he going to be homesick?
I’ve got 6 weeks to get both of us ready. Maybe you’ve got some advice to share?