This summer has been one of learning to let go. As my children face new adventures in the fall, all attending new schools, I’m preparing my heart for the transition.
Caroline has been gone almost two weeks. Wheaton College, Matt and my alma mater, has an amazing camp in the Northwoods called Honey Rock Camp. Caroline is at a three-week Advance Camp, designed specifically for incoming freshmen. Two weeks ago we put her on two planes, connecting in Minneapolis and sent her off to camp. One way communication so snail mail it is!
The first week she was gone went quickly as I was in Boston. My time was filled with friends, sweet children and living in another life. This week I’m home and the longing in my Mama heart to have all my babies under my room has grown.
I understand why some parents don’t allow their children to attend camp. I get why they limit time away from home, discourage sleepovers and keep a close watch. I understand helicopter parenting.
When you hold on tight, your heart doesn’t have to ache with worry. The “what ifs” are a lot less because your kids are right in front of you. You control their comings and goings, the “dangers” they face and the lurking fears.
But you also miss out. Loosening the strings and giving my kids adventures broadens their self-respect. It gives them confidence to tackle hard things and make it through. It gives them resilience and fortitude to carry on.
An unsuspected benefit for me of releasing my kids into adventurous experiences has been the great pride and excitement I have for them. I am able to walk vicariously alongside them, learning new things and seeing the world in a different light.
So I continue walking this tightrope of letting go and hanging on. Life’s an adventure and I’m so thankful my kids get to experience all that it offers!