Days after I graduated from college, Mother stood beside me as I checked in for a flight that would take me across the country in fulfillment of a dream. We’d arrived early, planning to share a snack and make the most of our last hour together.
The airline clerk slipped destination tags on my luggage and checked her schedule. “There’s another flight leaving in thirty minutes with seats available. Would you like me to get you on it?”
Bubbling with excitement, I turned to my mom. Shock, disappointment, hurt and grief crowded together in her eyes. A thirty-minute departure left little time for a snack, much less last-minute heart chats. Mom looked away, then down at the floor, pressing her lips together. Finally, in a voice soft as a vapor, she gave her blessing.
Today, I find myself appreciating the effort it took for Mom to release me, her youngest daughter, to chase my dream in a far-away place. My youngest child will graduate from college this month and set off on a journey from Chicago to the east coast, chasing his dream. How I long to ride the miles with him, to guide his search for a safe place to live, to pave the way for him. But my mother set a high standard. So I’ll release him to pursue his dream, praying the wings of freedom carry him to a future where he can learn and grow and become the man God meant him to be.
Mary L. Hamilton grew up at a youth camp in southern Wisconsin, much like the setting for her Rustic Knoll Bible Camp series for tweens and teens. Releasing her eldest to join the Marines was most difficult, but releasing children is never easy.