Tonight I am grateful for people who share meals with my son. Jesse is 22 and a recent college graduate. He’s traveling across the country with the goal of going to each National Park in the continental US.
Jesse doesn’t blog about his experiences, and he posts infrequently on social media. While Keith and I are totally supportive of his journey, we’re also unapologetically wired to be his parents. For us that translates into Keith checking Jesse’s bank account to see where he last bought gas, and I find myself saying prayers that includes petitions about bears staying away from his campsite.
Last night Jesse called to share some highlights with us. He’d been gone three weeks, and we hadn’t talked with him for awhile, so it was good to hear his voice and his stories.
He’d messaged us a few days before about a family of five who’d asked to share his campsite. The park’s campsites were all booked up, but Jesse knew what it meant to be without a campsite, having just spent two or three nights in his “trunk apartment.” So he welcomed the family and told us he met five new friends and their French bulldog. The family was so grateful they fed him supper and paid for the site.
Jesse told us that just a day or two later he was just about to head out on a trail when a woman who was cooking at another campsite asked him if he’d eaten a hot meal that morning. He hadn’t, and she promptly invited him to sit down with her family for something cheesy and warm and good.
As I said–Keith and I are totally supportive of Jesse’s trek and how he chooses to do it. But I must admit that this mama is just so grateful for strangers who feed our son and offer him some conversation along the way.
I’m sure Jesse thanked his hosts. He’s always been so good at saying thank you. Since I can’t thank them personally, though, I’ll settle for thanking you–for the times when you’ve offered someone a meal and a conversation. For the times you initiated a conversation with a young adult or a traveler or both. Thank you. Wherever there’s a person who is on a journey, there’s likely a parent or someone else who cares for that person who is wondering how the journey is going and praying all is well.