Friday, June 17, 2011

letting her fly

If you remember a couple of weeks ago in a recent Thankful Thursday post, something I said I was thankful for was:

* The courage to do something that my oldest daughter will greatly benefit from...even though I myself wasn't ready for it (more on this in another post)

Well, it's time for the 'more on this in another post' part - and the courageous thing I was referring to was...registering Joelle for summer camp {gulp!}. Yes, it's true. My almost 8-year-old little girl will be heading to camp for the very first time in a matter of weeks.

She came home from school one day with a letter from one of her BFF's inviting her to go - for 4 nights!! When she first read the note to me, I sort of chuckled and was thinking to myself, Yeah right...that's not gonna happen!

But as I witnessed the excitement in her eyes as she thought it was actually a possibility, something changed for me. Why exactly was it an immediate NO! in my mind? Because I didn't think she would like it or be able to handle it...or because I didn't think I could handle it?

I began to realize that if I went with my first instinct and told her "No, not this year sweetie", I didn't even have a legitimate reason to back that up. And believe you me, she would've asked for one! It was very clear to me that the only reason I wanted to tell her no was because I was not ready to let her go on such an adventure.

But what if she is ready? Why should I hold her back from what will probably be the most memorable week of her life thus far because of my fears? Why should I hold her back because of the hesitation in my Mama-heart? I shouldn't. And as hard as it was for me to actually drop off that registration form in the mail...I haven't regretted it for a single second.

Les and I didn't say yes to her right away. We talked about it with each other and with her several times before making the final decision to let her go. And I also asked several other Mom friends of mine their opinion. And while the responses varied - and while my heart is not ready to let her go on such an excursion and r-e-a-l-l-y wanted to tell her no...I just couldn't do it. I didn't want my reluctance to stand in the way of her getting this experience.

I know she will miss us. I know there will be times when she probably wishes she were back at home with me able to give her hugs and kisses whenever she needs them. I know there may be a time or two when she's scared at night (but that's where this idea will come in especially handy).

But...I know she is going to have a phenomenal time at camp. I know she will make many new friends and countless more memories. I know she will come home with a huge grin on her face and will talk about her first camp experience for years to come. I know she will gain a lot of independence and I know she will be thankful she took the plunge to go. I know she will even grow in her young faith in Jesus.

This really was not an easy decision for me and we did not take this lightly. But we did what we thought to be in the best interest of our daughter - and not what was best for us. I will miss her tremendously during that week. And I will pray for her fervently - especially at night-time and especially if there are any thunderstorms during the nights (her BIGGEST fear). I will no doubt have the desire each and every day to drive out to the camp, pack her up and bring her back home.

But I will fight that urge off (I hope!) and somehow find the strength to leave her where she needs to be. It's not going to be easy...but I am choosing to let her spread her wings and fly.


Kathy and Carl said...

Good for you Andrea, and great for Joelle. She's going to have an awesome time, but I hear you. I'd find it hard to let Joel go too because I'd miss him and constantly wondering if he brushed his teeth!

Kelly said...

I know that's in my future and I'm sure it's going to be difficult! She will be fine...and you'll make it through ;-)