Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Appalachia Lessons

Sam and Beth
two of the nicest people I know
(don't ya think he looks older and stronger and bigger?)

Our oldest son, Sam, left Austin on June 22 to head to the Appalachian mountains to help repair houses for people in need as part of a work crew for the Appalachia Service Project.

And I have been a wreck about it for months.

It all started in the fall of last year when he said he was interested, decided he wanted to go and signed the commitment form. (yes, I said that HE signed the commitment form)

Fast forward to the spring, and he didn't really want to go anymore and dear old me became enemy number 1.

There were many reasons behind his not wanting to go. Some of them were very very very valid. And none of the reasons had to do with his being unwilling to help others.

I saw these reasons as things he needed to get past. I felt like he was being given a challenge that he could conquer and come out of feeling more confident and having a better understanding of self. These challenges involved conflicts with people - and I did not want him to sit out or miss an amazing opportunity because of a couple people. I truly felt like not going would be letting the bad guys win - again.

blah blah blah - boring mom stuff, i know.

So as the date got closer, thing grew more and more tense. To say that he was very upset with me for MAKING him follow through on his commitment is an understatement.

As we were days away from the trip, I was almost broken. I almost let him skip. I started to have self doubt. And I prayed. And I am not even kidding - I PRAYED HARD. And someway, somehow - I found the strength and stayed strong.

And as he drove away in that van with people that we don't really know, going someplace that we've never been to see things that he has never seen, I almost threw up.

There is no communication on this trip. No phones. No internet.

I have been a wreck. What if this was a huge mistake on my part? What if the personal challenges proved too much and cause him even greater self doubt and hurt?

(Did anyone ever remember to tell me that this mom thing sometimes really sucks?)

And then, out of the clear blue - a kind angel sent me an unexpected message letting me know that all was well. That our kid is fine. That he is a blessing and that they think he is having a ball. And now I can finally breathe again.

I knew it would be okay.

But the relief those few words gave me in truly hard to explain.

I am dying for him to come home.

I hope he will be willing to share with us some of what he experienced.

I know that this trip will change his life.  I believe that it will allow him to see that the world is bigger than just this town and that helping people is one of the greatest things you can do to learn about yourself.

I hope that someday down the road he will see that I am not a mean terrible ogre and that I am trying my hardest to do the right thing.

And that I am proud of him.

And that I love him.

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