Today I dropped my kid off at camp.
Ok, Ok, Ok, I realize it's not as traumatic for others since she is essentially still in my yard. But, this is the first time she'll be in the dorms without me. She'll be getting dressed without my assistance (I did help organize her clothes in her suitcase). She'll have to remember to put sunscreen on her face, and brush her hair and teeth, and to change her uws on her own. She was mostly confident today as I took her inside, set up her bed, and told her goodbye.
It was a weird feeling saying goodbye.
I have no doubts that she is under the best care in the world. I completely trust the people in her dorm and the staff here at the camp. I know she will be ok.
But, I also know she's getting older, growing up, and needing me a little less every day.
And that's the way it should be.
Kids are not supposed to be dependent on their parents for everything. They are not supposed to need to be told when the breathe. They need to stand on their own two feet.
I get that.
This parenting thing is all about balance. Knowing when to let them walk and when to be ready to catch them. This same confident child dissolved into tears at Moe's at lunch today because the corn salsa wasn't available.
"Everything's changing! Nothing's the same anymore!" she cried.
I'm fairly confident that she wasn't primarily upset about corn salsa--but it was the straw the broke the camel's back.
Her daddy gently reminded her that things are always changing and that they always will. And that's ok.
It doesn't make it easier or more fun. It doesn't always go the way we expect it to. Sometimes it's good, and sometimes it's not so good.
But in order for us to experience this life, we have to live. We have to take ahold of this life and make the most of it. We have to get out there and grab it by the horns and wrestle it.
For me, it's a control issue. I love to be in control. And knowing that my child is off on her own, making her own choices, forging her own path scares the pee-pee water out of me. I hope that I've raised her well, that she'll make good decisions, and that she'll be the best she was created to be.
But, in order for her to be the best, eventually I will have to let go.
But, for today I'm still her mom. She still needs me, and she will still miss me (or so she said this afternoon with a trembling chin). She will still seek me for love and support and she will still be my little chubby cheeked girl.
And I'm learning to let go a little more each day.