But be forewarned, this one is a bit dark. H.
He walked out the door tonight, and suddenly I was in tears.
He was just going camping, my child of 23.
But, a man's shoulders walked out that door.
He has landed his first Real Job, as a first response EMT.
He has paid his dues, this boy, gaining that EMT ticket at 18. Shortly after, as a volunteer, a dead little girl. Years after, the young woman.
It was a SAR mission, volunteer again, to a climbing fatality. Far up a wall, the third pitch was her last.
At home, later, on his harness. Look. A bit of Her, there...
And, see?...here, also.
The harness could be washed, the stain of Her removed.
But, this last part of Her, this harness of His, will be respectfully retired.
He walked out that door many times before tonight, but this time, I know it will soon be his last as my child.
He will leave, start his Real Life. I will still be his mom, but it will take much time for my child to fill out his man-ness, and rewrite what "mom" means.
In the meantime, I will wait.
When I hear sirens in the night I will think of him. I expect I will still wake at night, as I often do now, waiting for the sound of his key in the lock, his footsteps through the house.
It is a sweetness tinged with sad, watching this manchild climber of mine walk out that door, knowing he is willing to bag the body of some other mom's child.
A mom who may weep when she hears sirens in the night, and never a key in the lock again.
I told my son if he took the last beer from frig I was going to kick his ass; he looked down at me and laughed. The years just keeping rolling on . .
Perfectly done, Bill!
My 13-year-old son climbs, has his own trad gear, and recently realized that beer tastes good.
I'm not sure if I should be proud, or worried.
I would bet you have nothing to be worried about - all the years we spent doing things together in the outdoors is priceless. I remember when he started having an after climb beer with the crew. We were in New Mexico at the time and he could either have a beer or drive the truck on the dirt/gravel roads. It was torture for him on the hike back to decide which one he wanted to do. He leaves for the Marines in a few months and does not climb much anymore, but we still dirt bike together.