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Okay, we keep getting scary blog posts from our kid in Ecuador, and I am telling myself it is okay. No need to talk me off the ledge, or anything, because I know that words are quite powerful and that’s all this is, words.

Words have the power to convey so much if you let them. Love. Fear. Mistrust. Doubt. Words are big.

So, he’s not sure he wants to pole-vault because the taxi ride to the far away city where the coaches are is notoriously fraught with knife-point hold-ups. Yeah, that’s a real stumbling block. The death threats en route to your sporting event. It is a leap of faith for me to imagine that my kid is mature enough to manage this, but really I trust he is in good hands with the people watching over him. I am imagining that the words he uses are loaded and that he, as usual, gauges his actions to keep himself safe. After all, he is deciding not to use the knifepoint hold-up taxi service, and what great judgment that shows!

He has shown me since he was little that he too does not want to injure himself. This is the notion that has kept me sane. I can see that he is on my side of this thing, equally invested in preserving his own life, and that it is not entirely up to me to point out life’s hazards, even though he sees them and measures them where others would leave them be. When he used to skateboard down the street using his hands instead of his feet, I could see how controlled he was about his movements, even as his head wobbled inches from the ground as he traveled downhill at breakneck speed. And truly he rarely got hurt.

That’s how I keep calm when I read the blog, realizing that he has a track record of preserving his own life thus eliminating the need for me to do it for him, not to mention the thrill he must get using powerful words such as “knifepoint” and “hold-up”. Looking the other way is quite useful too.

In answering his frightening blog posts I offer to him some equally powerful and scary words myself: “We are looking forward to next summer when you move back home.”