One of my younger kids, my son, is going to be a high school senior this coming school year. He asked me if we could have some “time alone” and go on a road trip to visit various college campuses around our great state of Michigan.
With all the kids in our family, time alone is a treasured commodity. We chose this past Labor Day weekend to venture out.
Our first stop was to our northwest, to a community college about a half hour from our hometown. I told him it was a good place to start for him to take his basic courses, if he were still unsure of what he would like to do and unsure of what he wanted to study. He liked the option; but, of course, he wanted to continue on.
For our next stop we headed west, and stopped at a large university where his older siblings attend. A Big Ten University — Go Green! Of course, it would be great if he could follow in their footsteps, but the call wasn’t there for him for the time being.
Go West, Young Man
He asked if we could check out a smaller university that was further west. It is near Lake Michigan and close by to one of Michigan’s finest cities
We drove into town and looked up a friend of one of my daughters who graciously gave us a tour of the campus and the town. My son seemed to really connect with this university. The looks, the campus, the curriculum, and the feel appealed to him.
It seemed to be a good fit; yet he said he wanted to continue his search, just to make sure. Though he said he still wanted to search other campuses, I noticed that when all was said and done, we ended up staying for two nights, and really enjoyed ourselves there.
Our next stop found us traveling northward to a smaller university, where one of his cousins had gone, and where he found some of the programs to be of interest to him. As for me, I had remembered the campus to be the place where I had gone for cheerleading camp oh so many years before.
A Stop at Sleeping Bear Dunes
We traveled on from there, and decided to have some relaxing mom-and-son fun. We thought that our second-to-last day should be spent enjoying the famed beautiful Sleeping Bear Dunes of northwest Michigan.
The sun warmed us through the sunroof of the car as we traveled along the two-lane, tree-lined highway with its beautiful lush, green vegetation. We couldn’t wait to get to our destination hotel and pool near the shores of Lake Michigan.
Bathing suits on; suntan lotion and towels in our beach bag; and we were off. The run down the steep dunes are ever so easy and fun; but then, we had to face the dreaded climb back up.
I’m not sure, but I think to get to the top is almost as high as the highest cloud; at least, that’s how it feels. Yet the thrill and memories are in the adventure. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, as they say. Besides, I couldn’t let my son show me up.
My Son, the Hero
After dinner at a favorite local place, in my very favorite town near the dunes, we went back to the hotel and swam. At one point, I was watching my son as he showed off to some younger boys how long he could hold his breath under the water. They tried to follow his example but couldn’t hold their breath as long. They wanted him to do it again but this time they decided they were going to time him.
As he stayed under water, I watched the looks on their little faces. They went from a look of “wow” to one with wide eyes and the biggest grins ever as they watched their newest hero beat the odds of underwater breath holding. My son, hero to the young!
While he was still under the water, they were hooting and hollering to their older brother at the other end of the pool to swim over and see this great marvel. Then the older brother started to show off with holding his breath under water. I chuckled in amusement at the scene before me.
Snapshots of Life
Life sometimes can be captured in moments, in bits and pieces, kind of like a camera snapping a picture. These snapshots of life are then kept in our memories for safekeeping, only to be pulled out at a later date, and savored all over again. I know this weekend will be one of those memories for me.
We watch loved ones being born, loved ones making our hearts soar with pride, loved ones leaving our lives, and loved ones dying. I have experienced all this in the span of one year. Life is full of these “road trips”. I thank God that He is with me, to remind me that He is near for all the joys and sorrows that I may experience in them.
I’m going to miss my son. He grew up way too fast. Wasn’t it just yesterday that I held him in my arms? Now here I am, sitting poolside at our time alone, on our road trip to seek out a college for him to attend. Now it’s my turn to say “wow”.
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6 RSV-CE)
Dear Lord, thank you for these years that You have given me, to be a Mom to another child of Yours. I pray I have done well in Your eyes. I am nearing the time when I will be giving him back to You. I pray I have done well by You, and that I will one day hear You say to me, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” (Matthew 25:21 KJV)