OK, I knew it was coming. When my son went to his first GA in St Louis in 2006, I saw that the 2010 GA was going to be in Minneapolis. "Oh good, his bridging GA can be in his childhood home town, how cool is that?"
Then there was Portland, OR in 2007 with our whole youth group and a lot of fun. And he was elected to be Jr Funtimes manager--managing the youth delegates-- for Ft Lauderdale 2008, which was so hot I almost melted. In Salt Lake City 2009 he was the Sr. Funtimes manager and called the question on that fateful vote which failed by 13 votes. And then, somehow, it was 2010. The bridging year. I'm sure the thunderstorms that raged all afternoon and into the evening here in Minneapolis are for me. I'm unsettled, too. It's hard to let go.
But this is what we want. We all want our children to grow up and become fearless adults who take on life and charge forward to make the world their own. I am deeply happy that I have to let go. Thank God and all the Goddesses and anyone else responsible, it's good to have a child grow up and move on.
Tonight in the plenary hall I sat down for the Synergy worship service and bridging to adulthood ceremony and pulled out a bit of ribbon I've carried tucked in my wallet since the GA in St. Louis. During the youth worship that year, the youth handed around bits of ribbon that was used in a community building ritual. I don't even really remember what we did with them except that my seat mate had already tied hers on her bag and had to ask for another. But I've kept it, I guess it was a symbol of my connection with my son through our faith.
Tonight, I wrapped the little tattered pink ribbon around my finger as we worshiped and blessed the new young adults. I thought about leaving it in the hall, a symbol of leaving my parenting of a child-youth behind. But I didn't. Not yet. Maybe I'll wrap it around my finger for the chalice lighting on Sunday, when we speak together. Maybe I'll go drop it in the Mississippi river after GA is over. Maybe I'll just leave it somewhere at GA. I'm not sure. But my parenting of that child-youth is over, that is sure.
He's off and running. And it's good. But, you know......I'll really miss him.