The photo is four years old and he has since, of course, become a man. He planned this entire Chile trip by himself and has lined up work on organic farms. He has even rebuilt his mountain bike so it will be suitable for the terrain where he is going. He wants to become fluent in Spanish and learn more about sustainable living. I am proud of him.
My feelings about him and his departure are tucked away on a barely visible layer of this image. I have said what I needed to say, both on my journal page and to him in a phone call earlier today.
It all seems so normal and a growth opportunity for him and blah blah blah. But I am his mom, and my chick has hopped further out of the nest than ever before, so I am allowed to cluck a little.