At 6:30 this morning, Marty, the other kids from our church, and the kids from St. Paul's Lutheran Church climbed on the bus and headed out on their adventure. While in NOLA, they will participate in a day of service, be involved in a scavenger hunt, and be involved in a 36,000 strong, youth led worship service that will be live streamed so everyone at home can see it. It should be the experience of a lifetime.
Despite the fact that he'll be two days travel away, I didn't hesitate to give my approval when he asked to go. Marty and our youth leaders have my utmost trust and faith. I have no doubt this will be a phenomenal experience that will allow him to grow emotionally and spiritually.
Even knowing all this, I felt a pang as I drove away from the church. All I could think about was that in three short years, Vic and I will be driving away after we drop him off for his freshman year of college. I'm not sure I'm ready for that.
Even though Marty's got almost 7 inches on me and he sports a visible mustache, he is still my little boy. I have trouble conceptualizing a world where he's not around every day. I found myself turning to call to him a number of times today only to stop and remember that he's not here. I guess it's a small taste of what it will be like when he actually does leave home.
I'm not entirely sure why this trip is impacting me in such a different way than previous trips have. Maybe it's because of the distance he is traveling. Maybe it's the fact that he is doing this without any family member being with him. No matter what the reason is, Marty's departure this morning was a major wake up call for me. My little boy is all grown up and it's time for me to start letting go.