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Letting Go (or the day my heart broke, just a little)

mollyhousemouse

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Oh, my heart!

 

I did something hard today.  I let my almost 18 year old daughter go on a 3 day trip. A trip that will take her some 4 hours away.  OK, it’s a school trip and there are chaperones.  She’s a member of her high school’s culinary team and I am so proud to be her mom!

 

Her brother has been taking trips with the marching band and indoor drum line groups since middle school.  And there have been some long ones, 16-18 hours! (Texas is a BIG place!)  But neither one of them have done anything like this!

 

I want them to have the courage to fly, to do things that challenge them.  I want them to be able to take trips like this and know that they can do it alone.  Without a parent there to take the lead.  I know that it’s important they learn these skills.  After all, isn’t that a big part of my job as a parent? To send my kids into the world knowing how to be an adult?

 

She was so excited last night.  Making sure the right clothes were packed.  That the new pants we had to buy for the awards assembly “worked with the blouse.” She made sure that she had everything ready to go; she had lists! She was packed and ready to go by 7:00 this morning; even though her ride wasn’t due for another hour.  She texted me when she left the house “We’ve left and are going to Starbucks.”  I’m glad she didn’t face time me, I was able to respond with a “Thanks!” A friend asked if she got off ok, and I responded to him with a “yes (sob).”

 

If letting her go for 3 days is this hard, what is it going to be like when she goes away to college in the fall?  I had been warned about so many little hurdles that I would have to deal with as my children grew.  But letting go?  I don’t think anyone ever mentioned how hard it was going to be seeing my chicks leave the nest.

 

I’ve been there for so many FIRST things.  First steps, first words, first day of school.  This first, this first trip away, I won’t, I can’t, be there.

 

How do you do this?  How do you let a piece of your heart, get in a car and leave?  For 3 days?  Almost 4 hours away? Would I feel different if she were, say, going to Grandmother’s house for a long weekend?  Most likely the answer would be “Yes.” Grandmother is, after all, family. There’s no family involved in this trip though.  There are two great teachers who are chaperoning, but they aren’t family.  Her teammates are friends, but that’s not family.  There are parts of this trip she will have to navigate on her own.  I have to trust that what she’s learned at home so far, what she’s seen in our lives, she is able to put into practice.  Without me looking over her shoulder.

 

She just texted again, “Thanks mom! We’re here and having so much fun!” I didn’t cry, I just asked for a picture.

 

Today, I took a big step in learning to let go.

 

Oh, my heart!

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3 hours ago, Reader1810 said:

The pride - and deservedly so, this I know - shines brightly through your words, molly. From all we have heard about her, I just know your daughter will take this opportunity and run with it. Her parents have raised her well. :yes: 

 

Oh geez, now I’m tearing up and she’s not even my kid! 

 

Signed,

 

Proud aunt by proxy... ;)

 

thanks Reader

i am proud, very much so

no one ever told me how hard this part would be

Edited by mollyhousemouse
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1 hour ago, Mikiesboy said:

We all love your kids ... and they are a testament to your parenting skills. And isn't letting go what it's all about? I know it isn't easy.. i mean i have no kids just a nephew, but he's like a son. I was happy when he moved out, but i worry about him even now. 

 

Your daughter will do the right things .. how many stories you've related to me about the good choices she's made and the boys too. 

 

And we all love your kids, cuz we love you.  xoxo

thank you tim, and i know how you feel about the nephew, you're a great uncle

the kids have become pretty wonderful people, and part of me knows it'll be just fine, but there's that loud little part...

thanks for all the encouragement!

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You're a great mother, molly. I have faith she will excel at this.

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parenting is a juggling act. on the one hand, you want to convince your child they can do anything, while on the other hand, you want to scream at them "don't do that" every five minutes and keep them wrapped in bubble wrap. Kitt is right, it does get easier with time.

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7 hours ago, BHopper2 said:

You're a great mother, molly. I have faith she will excel at this.

thank you A

i'm sure she will be great at anything she decides to do also!

 

thanks for reading about my angst!

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4 hours ago, mogwhy said:

parenting is a juggling act. on the one hand, you want to convince your child they can do anything, while on the other hand, you want to scream at them "don't do that" every five minutes and keep them wrapped in bubble wrap. Kitt is right, it does get easier with time.

it is definitely a juggling act moggy

wanting them to grow up and stay little at the same time!

 

thanks for reading!

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1 hour ago, Defiance19 said:

:hug:For you momma.. You will make it through.. 

 

thanks Def!

my heart feels better this morning ❤

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I will never know what a parent feels when a child leaves the nest. I do know how the child feels though. When they know their loved, they will never be far.

You have raised your children to be respectful, responsible, and self-sufficient. Those are the ones who change the world and make a difference.

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17 minutes ago, BlindAmbition said:

I will never know what a parent feels when a child leaves the nest. I do know how the child feels though. When they know their loved, they will never be far.

You have raised your children to be respectful, responsible, and self-sufficient. Those are the ones who change the world and make a difference.

thanks jp :hug:

i hope she won't ever be too far away 

thanks for reading and being part of the conversation

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11 hours ago, MichaelS36 said:

I also only have nieces and nephews. Never really wanted children of my own, but I do enjoy them. I hope my own family knows they can come to me at anytime. As can any child, it's part the regret I have about leaving the police.

being an Uncle that those nieces and nephews can count on is a big deal, Sir.  i'm sure they know that you will always be there for them.  

11 hours ago, MichaelS36 said:

You and Phil are great parents and you've given your children the tools they need to be good productive adults. But only they can choose to use them. I'm sure they will. And letting go will get easier, however, my mother still has zero qualms about smacking me one.

W/we have tried very hard to not repeat some of the mistakes our parents made.  W/we aren't perfect, but W/we try hard.  i have heard stories about your mother Sir.  i'd love to meet her!

11 hours ago, MichaelS36 said:

Great blog molly. tim is right, you should write a book.

thank you Sir, tim tells me that regularly!

 

thank you for reading Sir

Edited by mollyhousemouse
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6 hours ago, MacGreg said:

molly, from the stories you've shared, it's apparent that you and Phil have great parenting skills. You've provided a solid foundation for your children, and this will give them the confidence to fly once that time comes. This small step of independence your daughter took is great practice - both for her and for you as parents. Even so, I'm sure it wasn't easy, just as you described.

thank you Sir

W/we always felt it was out job to make sure that the kids would go into the world able to think for themselves and function as adults.  this little adventure has shown that maybe W/we did ok. 

6 hours ago, MacGreg said:

My nephew almost dropped out of high school his senior year. I stepped forward to help mentor him. It was only through a lot of sweat and tears (and homework and extra classes) that he graduated. Now, he's thriving. I may not be a parent, but I get it. 

it may sound like a bumper sticker, but it really does take a village.  and you were there for him, that's big too

6 hours ago, MacGreg said:

So... now that Daughter has returned, how did she like the experience? 

she had the best time! learned about sharing space with others, they had 3 girls in their hotel room( :o )

but it was Dad who got the biggest hug, and into who's shoulder she cried when she got home (her team did not place to go to state :( )

 

thank you for reading and joining the conversation

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5 hours ago, dughlas said:

I was devastated when my son left for the Navy. We had never been separated for any length of time. He survived, so did I (as I presume both you and she have). Then he came home and left for college. I will share something my mother told me. She said I needed to understand that he would never come home again. Instead of the boy I had always known a young man would come to fill his place. He would have a life I wasn't entirely a part of and experiences I hadn't imagined. She was right. He was still my son but no longer a boy.

she has applied for 3 schools, 1 out of state, one about 4 hours away, and one up the highway about 30 minutes i'll bet you can't figure out where i want her to go?

thank you Dugh, for reading and joining the conversation!

 

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