Evan left this morning on his long-anticipated coming-of-age roadtrip with his buddies.  Long ago, probably early in their senior year, he and his closest friends decided that as soon as they graduated they would attend the Cornerstone music festival in Bushnell, Illinois.  It’s a week long campout of non-stop music.

This was notable because it was the first time he had come to us and told us what he was going to do as opposed to asking us if he could do it.  They all got together and decided to play the “I’m 18” card with all parents.  They all used their own money to buy tickets and reserve the campsite.  Since Evan is the resident Eagle scout, he took on the job of trying to organize the campout part which, to a large extent, involves handling food.  They have researched the thing very carefully; they know every turn they have to make with the car to get there, how long it will take, which bands they will go hear, and what they will eat on each day.  They have planned it like Eisenhower planned the Normandy invasion.

They left at 5:00am this morning with the guys in the back seat carrying stuffed duffle bags on their laps.

I wish them well but as a parent I can’t stop the nagging worry.  I keep thinking “what if?”.  The kid who volunteered to drive his car has already totalled one car and that experience did not slow him down or intimidate him so I wish he weren’t driving.  But in fact he is driving most of the way.

Every adult that I tell about this says something along the lines of:  “Oh my gosh, it’s Woodstock!” and the look on their faces says they are worried about recreational drug use.  This festival is centered around Christian rock music and this is now the 21st century so I doubt that the dangers are the same as they were back in the day.  There are plenty of ‘normal’ things to worry about like dehydration, sunburn, too many sweets, etc.

It reminds me a lot of the movie “Extreme Days” wherein a group of lifelong friends graduate and take the ultimate road trip before settling down to adulthood.  In that movie the parents cheerfully waved as they drove off and I guess Mel and I will do the same.

I look forward to hearing all about it and since he has a phone, I hope he can send an update via text message fairly regularly.

But it doesn’t feel right not to have him around on 4th of July weekend.  He and I were always such connoisseurs of fireworks. But I’ve got Erin; she’s right there with me ready to light fuses.