Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Project 365 - Leaving on Jet Plane

Yesterday, I put my 18 year old son on an airplane bound for Tel Aviv.  The trip is sponsored by his school and, as his senior project, is an important part of his requirements for graduation.  He has been looking forward to this trip for almost a year now.  He wants to experience first hand what it means to live in deep conflict steeped in ancient history and religion.  I admire him.  I would not have had the courage at his age to take advantage of this worldly opportunity.

I would like to tell you that  I watched him pack his luggage without worry.  I would like you to believe that as I smiled while he practiced his haggling skills with his Dad, a shadow did not darken my mood. That as I watched him help an elderly man retrieve his boarding pass from the ticketing kiosk at the airport, I did so without anxiety.  But, I didn't do any of that.  I admit to fearing for his safety as he lives with a family in the West Bank, as he walks the ancient, narrow streets of Jerusalem, as he tries to understand the separation wall, and as he swims in the Dead Sea.

I guess there is only one explanation for my behavior.  I am his Mom. And this growing up business is harder than it seems.