Today I am thinking about my oldest, Hayden, who left very early this morning for seven weeks in Hawaii with his grandparents and uncles. I’m really proud of him and excited about this new stage of life, remembering what it felt like when I first spent time away from home, tried something new, got my first part-time job. He’s worked very hard to get ready, babysitting all year long to pay for his airplane ticket and the big adventure finally begins today.
Not that I don’t trust him to take care of the details (ahem) but my participation in all of this has been to put out of my mind the fact that my baby will be leaving me for a really long time (and for those of you who don’t know me please know I am not a very mushy or even overly maternal person in the least so admitting my trouble with this is saying something). Instead of wallowing in the reality of his absence, I’ve been (predictably) approaching the situation as I do most situations–that is, by doing everything I can to make sure it will all be okay.
(Why, I wonder, are the words of my spiritual director ringing in my ears? “Amy, you know, your life is going to be so much easier when you finally figure out that you can’t control everything.” What??!?)
So, picture me running all over the place inventorying his clothes (Enough underwear? Bathing suits? SUN SCREEN????); photocopying and laminating several cards with travel schedules printed on them (Several, of course, in case you lose one. Or three.); reminding him for the 500th time that you don’t wash dark colors in hot water; reviewing why it’s important to only withdraw money from IN NETWORK bank machines; cluing him in to some of the best ways to live in peace with his Papa and Granny (given my years of experience) . . . and then doing all of that obsessively one more time. Then again, just to be sure.
There has been a lot of eye rolling.
When we said goodbye I think he was as prepared as he could be, but after hugs and kisses and “Don’t worry Mom, I’ll be fine!” he turned to leave and I knew I could prepare and prepare and prepare again but I couldn’t control what would happen next. And my biggest job, probably, was really to send him off with my blessing trusting that all those years of nurture and training and love will have to help him make good decisions . . . without me.
So, this morning he is on my mind. DC to Houston to LA to Honolulu . . . all by himself. I wonder if I did EVERYTHING I could to make sure he would be okay . . . ? Just in case, I decided to look a little this morning for a prayer for safe travel. There must be something out there I could include in my morning prayers, just for extra coverage, right? Some St. Benedict prayer or something?
I did find some prayers, a few beautiful and most hokey. But guess what else I found??? Apparently there is a special oil called Safe Travel that I neglected to anoint him and his luggage with. (I already checked, his plane has left.):
Safe Travel is a hoodoo formula for oil that dates from the early 20th century. It is usually used by a traveller to anoint his or her personal belongings and vehicle, and may also be applied as a dressing oil to candles that are burned by those who stay at home and await the traveller’s safe return. Those who place talismans and amulets in a vehicle may derive benefit from lightly anointing these things with Safe Travel Oil at the beginning of a journey.
The item shown here is the label for a 1/2 oz. bottle of Safe Travel Oil for anointing oneself or for dressing candles, a car or boat, a passport, a mojo bag, or a comfrey root. A little of it can also be added to laundry rinse water to dress the clothing. Like the rest of the Lucky Mojo line, this product contains genuine reputed safe-travel herbs and herbal essential oils, not synthetic fragrances. The ingredients in Safe Travel include comfrey root and Mint, plus other herbs and essences. Lucky Mojo labels are adapted from vintage packaging and in many cases the images are as traditional as the ingredients themselves.
“When you or someone you love must travel away from home, two conditions are greatly desired — a safe and happy journey, and return to a welcoming home. SAFE TRAVEL Oil is formulated with herbs and roots traditionally associated with safety on the road; use it to anoint your luggage, your vehicle, and yourself.”
— The Lucky Mojo Curio Co. catalog
How could I have missed this???!?
In other news today, John Ballenger has joined the club of of the 30 Day Blogging Challenge. Make sure to visit him and cheer him on!