Posted in A moms opinion, Aislyn

Letting go: Aislyn’s first Camp

The past week and weekend have been a mix of emotions and thoughts for me, not only to do with the political state of our nation but also having to prepare and then send my 9 year old daughter off onto her first camp…….. alone…….. without us. Now understand that I have tried my darndest not to be a helicopter mom and give my child as much freedom socially as is possible, being homeschooled and all. We also don’t do sleep overs, for various obvious reasons and have made sure that with each milestone that our kids are completely ready to dive into it with the necessary tools to tackle any issue that they face. Anyway, with that being said – let’s just say that I was FREAKING OUT!!!!! I mean come on! Three days (ok two in total), two nights and far enough that an emergency would require extreme breaking of speed laws to get to her. We had made peace with the fact that she was going months ago when we signed her up, but guys – let me tell you, nothing and I mean NOTHING prepares you for the moment that you realize your child is slipping away and the pre-teen is walking through the door with confidence, opinions, points of view (which are often profound) and sass to turn even a laid back mom’s head. Yet, with this preteen that you so badly want to squash into a box and try to hide them from big bad uglies of peer pressure, big choices and boys – the proper parent thing to do is to let them go slowly but surely. 

So, with the heart to do the right thing – I left her to check her packing list, add in the necessary extras. Teach her how to pack efficiently. How to roll up a duvet to fit into a pillow case, and how to roll sleeping bag. How to separate her dirty washing once she’s used it and how to roll it up and pack it back in at camp. As much as I’d love to leave her to run free with her beautiful mane of black curls, we tamed those puppies by plaiting them and making her life so much easier and quicker. 


I tried to arm her with all the tools she needed to enjoy a fun filled, responsible weekend without me. 

This being said – I’m enjoying this window of influence because, as I understand it from those that have gone before – this window is going to either stay slightly open or close completely and only open when she decides she wants to invite my influence in. (Praying for the best but preparing for the worst) 

We get her to the camp site, she sets up and we hug, give kisses and say goodbye. Shoo! My heart sinks as we walk out of the room and drive away. I’ve experience this once before when we tried pre-school out when she was three. There were a lot more tears from her side back then but this was so different – in that I, wanted to have the “romantic movie” moment of teary hugs and selfies and prancing runs away from each other as she jumped into this experience alone. Nope – it was just like, “cheers mom, see you on Sunday”. 


I was stuck between being super proud of her and completely annoyed that she wasn’t as emotional as I’d envisioned. But either way – we both did the right thing. 

Well, the house was A LOT more calmer without her being with us. (It’s amazing that once you remove just one of the three – the play is so much simpler, calmer, loving and polite) 

The weekend passed, I binged on as much “Chicago anything”, Grey’s, Fixer and silly reality shows as I could find, then Sunday arrived and we went to get our #growinguptoofast 9 year old. 

She was packed exactly as she was taught (YES! #momvictory) ready to go and full of the most detail I’ve ever encountered from one little person. It was helpful to have eyes on the ground and so one of the leaders took pics to help us get an idea of what went down-she volunteered, I’m not that much of a helicopter mommy. (I kinda feel like I had a paparazzi following her around 😁)

All in all, it’s happened – she survived, we survived and I survived. The next one will be easier and have a lot less expectations attached in my head. (This is when I feel sorry for my second and third children – by the time they get to this stage I would have developed such a callous towards the whole experience. Remind me to cherish their moments as much as I’ve done so here)

I’d love to hear what it was like for you when you had to let go of a season in your life. Our experiences can teach us so much, chat to me so that we can learn from each other. 

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Author:

I'm a woman finding my way through life as the wife of Tim, the mother to 3 growing kids and trying to maintain some sort of self through it all.

2 thoughts on “Letting go: Aislyn’s first Camp

  1. Oh my word Shaveh….My heart dropped to my feet when I read your story. I remember sending Kezia off to her first school camp in Grade 4 [9 turning 10 at the time] and believe me when I tell you Kezia has never being on a school camp again. Sleepovers are the worst for me…. I don’t sleep when she’s not in the house.
    Kezia is at the stage in her life where she get’s invited to parties that start at 8 and finish off at 12, but I have one rule and she knows the rule. When she gets the invite bring me the contact number off the mom that’s going to be on duty at the party. NO CONTACT NUMBER NO GOING TO ANY PARTY….. shame I feel bad at times but I am the mom or the momster as Kezia and Ethan will say.
    Kezia is nearly 14 and I am struggling to let go… Grant often has to help me to let go.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know! I can’t believe it’s this hectic but it’s so important. Which school is Kezia at? I can’t believe she’s 14! Just the other day she was 10months and learning to walk.
      Do you have your safety word yet? I read about having a safe word your kid can message through if they’re uncomfortable or in danger and you respond as a parent and no questions asked until they tell you 😅

      Like

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