My youngest is off to camp this week. This in itself is a huge change for me as a mom. I was hugely overprotective until recent life experiences brought me to my knees to face myself and reevaluate basically everything in my life.
In years past, as a "rules" based, overprotective mom, I am not proud to admit,
I never sent my girls to summer camp alone, I always went as a counselor (helicopter parent, thankfully I have put my helicopter in the bone yard). I was fearful of being away from my girls, fearful of them making "wrong" decisions or getting hurt (physically or their feelings), fearful of how others may influence them, fearful of them doing something I wouldn't "approve" of or of them doing something others in my circles wouldn't approve of...the list goes on and on but the point here is fear. My decisions were fear based.
Sounds crazy, right? I agree. The blinders are off and I actually realize how crazy this sounds. I am so very thankful for grace - from my own children! We have moved into a relationship of love and respect, of guidance and freedom.
All this means - my youngest is off to camp this week!
I am so happy for her, proud of her confidence and I hope she is having the time of her young life. I cannot wait to hear all about it when she comes home. I am sure there are things she won't share with me, secret things maybe she will share with her sister as they whisper and giggle before they fall asleep each night (I am so looking forward to witnessing that sweet reunion after being apart for a week). Things sisters can share without mom's ears.
Most importantly I have no fear.
I have a new certainty that I am raising confident girls who can think for themselves, make good decisions that honor themselves and others. Will they make mistakes? Yes. Will they get hurt? Yes. Will they hurt others? Yes. Will they forgive and be forgiven? Yes. These things are part of life, learning how to live it, and live it well.
So, for the first time this week all of my girls are in different places. I have one adult child living on her own, my youngest away at summer camp and my middle girl all to myself experiencing life as an "only child". How do I feel?
Peaceful. Fearless. Confident. Content.