I have never been a mushy-gushy type of mom: it’s just not me. I have never worried about my kids as much as other moms do. When my boys used to hurt themselves as little ones tend to do when they’re young and clumsy (or don’t make the best decisions!), I was pretty good at remaining calm and not worrying myself into the stratosphere. Where other moms can’t sleep until their teenager gets home in the evening–no matter how late it is–I have always been the “I’m going to bed: just wake me up when you get home so I know you made it back” type.
I’m especially thankful to be the kind of mom I am this summer. For the most part, I’ve taken D’s getting a summer job out and up in the mountains of Northeastern New Mexico (Not even close to the wildfires in the other corner of the state, by the way) in stride.
Although I’m not generally worried about the imminent dangers of my first born having a job that involves bears, snakes, mountain lions, and cell phone reception only at base camp (and not up in the backcountry where he will be working, mostly), it is a little daunting to think about. It makes me appreciate hearing from him even more than during his occasional school year calls from the relative safety of his dorm room at college.
I had the pleasure of receiving a phone call from D yesterday. He had been in the backcountry and out of touch for five whole days, participating in Ranger Training to prepare him for his job of escorting Boy Scout crews up into the mountains for their high adventure treks.
He was walking around in Taos, which is a lovely mountain town near the ranch where he works. One of his co-workers has a van and filled it up with fellow rangers who had a day off, driving them all to town for a little R & R. On the phone he told me about his five-day training and how his group of eight had the pleasure of seeing a small black bear (“It was like a giant, real-live teddy bear!”) that ran off after a minute, frightened by the group.
He sounded great. He sounded energized. He is clearly having a great time.
And that makes this mostly-non-worrying mom worry less. While smiling.
It occurred to me once again how grown up he sounded, and even though I really can’t reconcile in my mind the fact that he’s nearly twenty years old, I’m getting there. He talked about how he’ll take his first group of young charges (with their leaders) up into the mountains tomorrow, and it made me think about how wide-eyed and inexperienced he was on his first trip there, nearly six years ago with his dad by his side. It was a life-changing summer, as I know this one will also be.