Daily Archives: July 26, 2008

Summer Camp & Letting Go

Last Sunday we took JBelle to Girl Scout camp. It was her first experience in being away from home for an extended period of time. She, of course, was just fine. I, on the other hand, was a complete and total wreck! The drop-off process went smoothly enough. She seemed excited, a bit nervous but she didn’t beg us to stay, she didn’t cry and cling. In fact, she was quite nonchalant about it. When we decided to go, she hugged us and turned back to the table of girls in her “house”. I purposefully stayed calm and didn’t cry or linger too long. And even on the drive back home, I was fine. It was after we arrived at home that I started freaking out.

“We don’t even know anyone at that camp!”

“We left our first born with total strangers!”

“Who does that?”

“What have we done?”

I kept my phone beside me the rest of the day. I just knew she was going to call crying and saying she was homesick and upset because someone looked at her cross-eyed.

The call never came.

Because she was fine.

That night I sobbed in DB’s arms. Letting go is so hard. But as her wonderful Daddy gently reminded me, our job is to raise her to be a responsible adult and that means we can’t always be in control of everything she experiences. And he reminded me that even in the 8 short years she’s been with us, those times when we’ve been apart from her she’s has shown tremendous growth, learning and maturity. It’s true and I knew it. Still, a knot settled into the pit of my stomach.

Monday I was still freaking out.

Tuesday I accepted that the knot in my stomach would not go away until I picked my little girl up from camp.

By Wednesday I had calmed down significantly and best of all, we got a letter in the mail from JBelle! A letter than simply told us that the food was good, they would be taking their swimming test that day and that they were 13 girls in her cabin. Short and sweet and not one mention of being miserable or longing for home.

Sigh.

My little girl is growing up.

And I can’t get this song out of my head

Wide Open Spaces
by The Dixie Chicks

Who doesn’t know what I’m talking about
Who’s never left home, who’s never struck out
To find a dream and a life of their own
A place in the clouds, a foundation of stone

Many precede and many will follow
A young girl’s dream no longer hollow
It takes the shape of a place out west
But what it holds for her, she hasn’t yet guessed

She needs wide open spaces
Room to make her big mistakes
She needs new faces
She knows the high stakes

She traveled this road as a child
Wide eyed and grinning, she never tired
But now she won’t be coming back with the rest
If these are life’s lessons, she’ll take this test

She needs wide open spaces
Room to make her big mistakes
She needs new faces
She knows the high stakes

As her folks drive away, her dad yells, “Check the oil!”
Mom stares out the window and says, “I’m leaving my girl”
She said, “It didn’t seem like that long ago”
When she stood there and let her own folks know

She needs wide open spaces
Room to make her big mistakes
She needs new faces
She knows the high stakes

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Filed under by Malia, JBelle, parenting