Our 19 year old daughter announced that she wanted to go to a concert - - in a city four hours away. "What?? You want to risk your life by driving over that dangerous mountain pass just to see a stupid band??!! Are you crazy?! Those mountains are HUGE - - they're the CASCADES for crying out loud!! If you don't drive off a cliff or into a mountain, or if a deer doesn't run into your car, then Sasquatch will get you!"
Pause. Reach for brown paper bag. Breathe.
Of course, I know my daughter is very responsible. She's a good driver. She doesn't text while driving (I hope). The mountain pass isn't really dangerous. The highway is wide, so the cliff thing is not likely. The deer? Maybe but probably not. AND, everyone knows that Sasquatch only comes out at night. I was just being . . . well, a mother. But, as I was hyperventilating I was also reminded of another mother, many years ago, whose daughter announced that she and a girlfriend were going to take a road trip across the United States. I'm sure that mother was freaking out inside, but she didn't go postal or even yell. She was very calm. She knew her daughter was old enough and smart enough to handle that adventure. She was smart enough to know her daughter needed that adventure. So she gave her her blessing and then silently prayed for her safety every single moment she was away. She prayed for me - - her adventurist daughter.
My friend and I saved for that trip for months. Then we courageously (foolishly?) quit our jobs, packed up her Toyota Corolla and headed out early one August morning, going east (which was good since the Pacific Ocean was only minutes to our west). And we didn't roll back into town until November. Trip of a lifetime. We had a blast. We learned a lot. Saw a lot of history, met a lot of people, had unforgettable experiences, found out what a small world this really is, got into an accident in New Orleans . . . and so much more. But I'll save that for another day.
I guess the moral of my story is this - - sometimes you just need an adventure. And sometimes, as parents, it's wise to pause to remember what it was like - - to be young and need an adventure. And then, grab that brown paper bag and breathe.