Saturday, September 18, 2010

A Mother's Goodbye

This morning at 3:54 a.m. I woke to face this day which has brought both excitement and tears over the last few months. My son Evan is traveling to Saigon, Vietnam to find his adventure after graduating from the University of Iowa this past May.

This last week at school has been grueling and it wore me down physically. Thinking about sending my son to the other side of the planet has worn on me mentally. It has caused such mixed feelings that I have had moments of panic tempered by deep breathing. I have had long conversations with myself that these feelings are perfectly normal 'mother-sending-her-son off' emotions. I have to believe that he will be safe and that this young man will find his most excellent adventure.

Ev is a world traveler. Eighth grade took him to Japan for 10 days to visit our sister city. The summer after his junior year in high school found him in Uganda for a month to build a school in a small village. As a junior at the University of Iowa, he studied abroad for a semester in Mysore, India; he taught in a village school for 3 weeks before he traveled home. Since that first trip to the mountains of Japan, he has wanted to teach English as a second language overseas. This morning we sent our son off to follow his dream.

A lump sits in my throat as I type this. He just turned 22 years old. I watched his back as he approached the ticket counter to check in. He seemed relaxed and ready to go. When he turned, however, I could see both excitement and strain on his face. Once his bag was turned over to the agent, there was no turning back. He spotted me and kind of shrugged with a whimsical look on his face. Pure Ev.

His journey to this world away takes place over 2 days on 3 airlines. He is a world traveler and he has always managed to get to where he needed to be. However, these next 26 hours will be hell until we hear from him....that he has arrived safely, that his determination to embrace this new adventure is intact...and that he is still in possession of his passport and money!

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