Did I say that out loud?

Thoughts and musings of a mom

Not letting go

on October 27, 2014

This weekend I took my daughter to her first overnight camp with her local Girl Guides. All week I had been cautious of her going, as she was a newcomer to the group, and it was now becoming chilly to be sleeping in a tent all night. But my husband, the former Boy Scout, also felt it was a great opportunity and it was now two against one, mom waving the white flag of defeat.

So there I was, on a chilly damp Saturday afternoon, driving her through the drizzle and the back roads of our beautiful province, trying to read road directions downloaded in an email from her leader. Not incredibly concerned that we may be lost, I continued to drive, subconsciously knowing that I would be delaying her arrival if we didn’t find the camp on time.

When we finally arrived, we took her supplies out of the van, her and I each taking an armload up the muddy path through the woods to the field where the other girls had already planted their belongings for the night. With only a few other parents in the near vicinity, I felt I should make my departure before my over-protectiveness became too painfully obvious.

We said our goodbyes, replayed our little farewell ritual a couple times, and I turned to leave. As I stood on the other end of the small open field, I watched her try to find her place amongst the others, milling around their camping gear. And there she was, lost amidst many.

She caught my eye, noticing me watching her. She swiftly came towards me, hugging me again, embracing the familiar. I told her she could walk me down the path to the van if she wanted. I almost held her hand, but I knew I had to let her go.

And once more, we said our goodbyes, knowing this was our real final parting for the day. I would have to wait 20 hours before I saw her shining face again. Not even a full day, but in some way, it felt longer. So after I lingered over to the van, I watched her again tread up the hill, meandering along the path.

I let a tear fall, once alone by myself. More followed as I drove down the dirt road in the opposite direction, taking me farther and farther away from the child who made me a mom. Comforted by the thought that this was a necessary, albeit bittersweet part of growing up, maturing, making friends, and somehow, knowing deep down she would find the joy in this experience.

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