Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Parenting Changes

As we finished cleaning up from breakfast at our campground Sunday morning, drinking our coffee, and enjoying our morning conversation, Techno received a text from Jacob.

His car was dead.

This normally wouldn't be too big of a deal as we were just camping in the Snowy Range - a few miles from our home.  Just a day before and Jacob would have simply been 4-30 miles away from us. A simple drive to rescue him would have been in order.

Today, however, he was many more miles away in ........ Texas.

He had left Sat morning for his summer internship at a university in Texas where he'd be working along side one of the chemistry professors there.  Allowing him to gain new and varied experiences.

Even though we were communicating via text, I could hear the concern, the worry, maybe even the fear in his voice.

Techno advised him to see if he could find someone to try to jump start his car.  Hoping it was simply a dead battery.

Fortunately, a kind stranger was not too difficult to find and they used jumper cables to try to restart the defunked battery.  Their efforts, however, were futile.

We talked him through contacting Triple A so a truck could be dispatched to tow his vehicle to a nearby mechanic where it could be evaluated.   We feared the alternator or some other electrical component was the culprit of his car's sudden demise.

Sitting there, I felt so helpless.  Here was my little boy - yes, he's 19, but in my head he's still my little boy - stranded at a Pilot station some 12 hours away, dependent on the sympathy of random, unknown, people to help him during his time of need.

While he awaited the drivers arrival, we reminded him to contact the university to let them know he was going to be delayed. There were specified 'check-in' times and he didn't want to be left out in the cold, so to speak if he arrived past that allotted time period.

I wanted to jump in the car and drive those 12 hours at lightening speed to rescue him. To ensure his safety.

Obviously that wasn't an option.

Instead, I sat there waiting with baited breath for each new text to come through.

The tow truck arrived a half hour later.

With great wisdom, the driver offered to try to jump the lifeless car with his bigger battery.


Jacob was finally on his way to his final destination of the university.  We advised him to keep the car running and NOT turn the car off until he arrived at the university where he could then go buy a new battery to replace his current dying one.

Knowing he was going to be quite late, he made the decision to go a bit faster than he should.

You guessed it.

That resulted in a state highway patrol officer pulling him over and giving him a ticket.


Such hard life lessons - all in one day.

In his panic....  He.


Fortunately, after the officer determined Jacob to be a 'good kid' with no drugs in his possession (with the help of a drug sniffing dog) he was very compassionate and helpful.

The police officer, after giving Jacob his citation, attempted to jump the battery on the old Buick.  To no avail, unfortunately.

Once again, Jacob had to call Triple A.  This time, however, there was no option of another jump due to being on the side of the highway.

More delays.  More waiting.

The tow truck arrived and hooked up the car.  A 98 mile drive to Wichita Falls and Jacob was finally able to purchase a new battery for his ailing car.

Come to find out, the battery in question - the faulty one - was a good 11+ years old and was the WRONG size for his vehicle.  LOL!  We can laugh now.  It wasn't so funny at the time.

It took a lot longer than expected and cost a lot more than he'd hoped, but eventually.... his car was in good working order and he was once again driving toward his summer residence.

The day progressed and the worry continued until at long last - sometime around dinner - we received another text.  He had ultimately arrived at the university and was beginning the process of unpacking the car and setting up his new abode in the dorm room.


My mama heart could relax.  I could breath a sigh of relief.

He was there.

I looked at Techno and commented, "I thought it would get easier as they got older.  You know, became adults.  But... it really doesn't, does it?"

He responded, "Nope, the issues just seem to get bigger, harder in many ways."

Parenting never really ends.

It just keeps changing.

Altering how we must respond.

Yes, we have to let go and the children have to grow on their own; make their own mistakes; their own decisions; learn their own lessons, but.... we are still mom and dad.  We still worry, fret, want to swoop in and save them.  Even when we really can't.  When all we can do is wait; pray; hope they muddle through unharmed, unscathed.

Then we exhale when they emerge on the other side of whatever new situation they have found themselves.

Knowing they've taken another step in this journey of growing up.

Knowing we've ventured into another parenting stage, hopefully successfully.

No, this situation wasn't overly traumatic, but when your child is far away and there's really NOTHING you can do to help - it's tough.  It's new.  It causes worry.

It all turned out well.  Lessons were learned.  Faith was strengthened.

Now to await more updates about his adventures far from home.

I know there will be many.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I only check comments for spam.