Anyone else have problems letting go? Do your children ever get offered an opportunity to take trips without you? How do you decide if they can go?
See, I have this memory of being home...all the time. As I got older I got to spend ONE week with my Grandma and Grandpa Hill each summer...and they were in the same town! And I got to spend one with Grandma and Grandpa Mears who lived in a town a whole 45 minutes away. I did get to go to camp for a few days each summer but other than that, I rarely went places. A few times a year I got to spend the night at a friends' house. And I don't mind that I was home, I really didn't have an opportunity to go places. I don't regret my childhood! BUT....I wish I had the opportunity to see more of this beautiful country!
Fast forward a few years. Due to circumstances beyond my control, I have a LOT of extended family for my kids! This allows a LOT of variety in places people live! A few years ago when she was 10, my daughter got to go with her aunt and uncle to her grandparents house in Pennsylvania. From Indiana, this is a stretch and was hard for Mommy! She ended up with an amazing trip for 18 days, encompassing Pennsylvania, Boston, Washington DC and a few other places! I was SO glad when she got home though!
In the last few years my next daughter was diagnosed with PDD-NOS with Asperger's type symptoms. Which is a fancy way of saying she isn't quite like all the rest! She is now 12 and has not had her opportunity to go and spend time with the grandparents and I feel bad for her, but have been thankful that schedules didn't allow it! She went to camp this year, which I blogged about a week or so ago, and did great! I thought I was finally ready for her to go, but once again, schedules prevail to prevent it! I have to assume that God is in control and there is a reason it is not happening this year either!
So, this summer my aunt sends a message and wants my three oldest children and my sister's three oldest children to spend a week each there this summer. Another opportunity for them to experience a new part of our country (North Carolina this time!) and I have to choose. Setting aside my protective, clingy Mommy genes allowed me to say YES! I took my oldest daughter yesterday and I will take the next one next week! Of course, now I am jealous because zip lines and white water rafting are involved! :-) Was it easy? No. Am I glad I got my Mommy selfishness out of the way so she could go have fun? Yes. Will I be a much more nervous wreck next week with my more challenged child going? Probably!
I know I am building strength of character in my children. I know that will benefit them in the future and allow them to be braver in facing new experiences. My 13 year old seems to think it is enough for me to trust sending her to AFRICA alone to see her Uncle. I have to admit I am totally not there yet! :-)
So, as she enjoys her week in North Carolina and as my next one enjoys next week, I am going to focus on taking advantage of my time with the littles who are here in my house and not worrying over the one who isn't!