High School &
I Sent My
I sent my son on an
unknown adventure as
an aggravated teen,
and he came back
a responsible, and
thoroughly pleasant adult.
They said I was crazy. I thought hey might be right. But now I know. God had a plan all along. You see, when my two boys
reached their teenage years, I found myself
increasingly frustrated with them. Their
hopeless lack of motivation to do the things
they needed to do, and their hyper-focus on
things such as skateboarding, video games,
or working out, turned me into a nagging,
dissatisfied, and often punishing person—
someone I did not want to be.
One of my boys had a fairly good at-
titude, and remained relatively compli-
ant, even as he failed to put the amount of
effort towards his school work that I
thought necessary. The other . . . let’s just
say that we bumped heads like two bulls in
a daily battle for power. His sixteen-year-
old attitude of superiority, a belligerent be-
lief in his boundless wisdom, rankled my
very last nerve. He needed a reality check.
Someone to burst the bubble of inexperience. The very bubble I had painstakingly
formed around my family and their lives.
Some kids just need a broader perspective; to wake up to the world and see that
the sun does not rise and set on their wants,
desires, and beliefs. But how? As usual, I
took this burden to the Lord.
That spring, while in discussion with
my niece, who had recently graduated and
wasn’t sure what she wanted to do next, an
idea began to take shape. She talked about
her lifelong dream of backpacking through
Europe. But she had no one to go with her.
She’d lived there most of her life, so she had
a fairly good grasp on the rail system, traveling from country to country. She knew how
to make a meal from bread and cheese at the
grocery store. She was certain they could do
this trip together without great expense.
When we suggested the idea to my son,
he was shockingly agreeable. Of course,
what teenage boy wouldn’t jump at the