My son Charlie jumped off a cliff last month while in Belize, answering the age old question “If your friends all jumped off a cliff would you do it too?”
Apparently the correct answer is “YES Mom, I would. “
Cliff jumping was his moment of facing his fears (heights) and even though it goes against every motherhood protective instinct I have, I’m proud of him.
Charlie faces two more cliffs when he gets home; High School graduation and delivering his Valedictorian speach. My son faces his fears valiantly. I could not be more proud.
He will go on to jump off more cliffs in life – college, dating, working, marriage, etc.. and I know that God will be with him and it’s okay even if my heart doesn’t want to let him go.
As this season of “Charlie’s Mom” closes a little for me, I know that I have my own cliffs to face. Letting him go is just one of them. I also have a 16 year old at home who wants to be let go of as well. Dillon is learning how to drive and wants all of the freedoms that come with that.
With Dillon’s epilepsy, I’ve had a hard time letting him go. When it comes to him, I’m more of a helicopter Mom than anything else. As time presses forward, I know that I need to learn how to step back more and let him try his wings, lest I cripple him before I let him go. He and I are both standing on the edge of that cliff, looking at the river below – there will come a day, too quickly for me, where jumping will be necessary and not optional.
In letting go, I’m learning how to try my own wings. I jumped off my own cliff this week. I drove to Nashville, went to the Christian Comedy Association Conference and did a three minute stand up set during open mic in front of some of the biggest names in Christian Comedy today.
I wanted to throw up.
But I didn’t.
The trick to surviving cliff jumping – is to not do it alone. Charlie’s friends were all waiting for him in that River and in that graduation hall – they cheered him on. They bandaged eachother’s nicks and scrapes up afterwards as well.
My friends and I are facing empty nests together – we aren’t alone on that cliff. And as for comedy, I’ve been staring at that cliff for several years now. This year, I jumped and in doing that, I found new friends waiting in the river.
What cliffs are you facing today?