A very confidence-inspiring burly young Australian man named Jack then took them to the top of this massive steel tower, and with assistance of a Ugandan whose name I did not catch, took a turn wrapping towels and a seat-belt-strapping-sort of tie around their ankles. No harness. Nervous mom was told how secure this binding system is . . but as I watched Caleb I felt like he was the sacrificial lamb being bound for the slaughter. Each boy then hopped with their tied feet to the edge of the platform, and dove off.
Soaring, endlessly, down, into the gorge. It was terrifying to watch. Luke was heavy enough to dunk in the river at the bottom (his choice) but Caleb only touched the water with his finger tips, which meant that when the elastic cord pulled him back up he flew, arms out, to almost half the height again. Both said it was an adrenaline rush but totally awesome, a free fall and a flight, completely worth it.
Sitting high above the Nile, with my feet dangling over the platform, watching them jump and disappear, their choice, trusting the skill of someone else, the stretching cord that would allow them to fall but not die . . . a parable of parenthood. Letting go, trusting the cord formed over a decade and a half of love and nurture to hold them safely, respecting their courage to jump into the abyss. Sorrow and pride and loss and hope all in one intense moment of goodbye. Better scared than bored.