Monday evening I took my daughter Madison, a junior at Presbyterian College, to the airport for her to catch a flight to Madrid, Spain for a spring semester studying abroad. She will be gone for five months.
Will she have enough money? Will she be able to carry all her luggage herself? Will she know how to get where she is going? Will there be problems with her visa? What if she doesn't like being there? Will she not be so trusting of strangers? Does she remember watching the movie, "Taken"? Will her dad stop worrying? As I returned from the terminal to my car, I was proud, excited, sad, and admittedly a little nervous.
It didn't help things to find out an hour later that Madison was actually not allowed on the flight because she had a "buddy pass" and the flight was overbooked. Ugh. More worry! However, she herself worked out a solution of her flying to New York City for a night, where she could stay with her boyfriend's sister, a flight attendant, and the next day she would have more opportunities to continue the flight to Spain.
Sure enough Madison not only made the last flight out, but this was the text I received upon her boarding, "Dad, I made it onto the flight, FIRST CLASS BABY! Now I'm eating chicken roulade, fennel puree and cupolo l'onion brulee for dinner. Trying to act like I fly like this all the time but it's hard to not freak out about all this awesomeness."
Madison made it to Madrid, and all is well as she is settling in with a host family with classes starting today. Her dad can breathe again.
While it may be a hackneyed phrase, there is much truth in the saying, "Let go and let God." I recently heard that it was the parents' job to give their children two things: roots and wings. I like that. As parents, our job with God's help is to lay a solid, healthy, loving foundation upon which a child can freely grow and eventually launch out on her own. I suppose this is another one of those steps toward giving her "wings." Delta may be "ready when you are." I'm just not sure Madison's dad is ready. Oh well, ready or not!
Train up a child in the way she should go: and when she is old, she will not depart from it. -Proverbs 22:6
Prayer for Today
O God, be with our college kids and young adult children as they launch out into the world. Help us to let go and let you be in charge. Amen.