When I was pregnant I got all kinds of advice and warnings about becoming a mom. People would tell me that I wouldn’t get 4 consecutive hours of sleep until the kids started school. I was told how fast my children would grow up and to cherish every moment. I was warned about every food, sunscreen and baby proofing thing you could think of. But not once, did anyone give me a heads up about the thing I am about to endure with my oldest child.
Not one person told me how hard it was going to be the first time you send your child away on a 4 day field trip. No one told me that I was going to have to let go and allow my 11-year-old to have her independence to go on this trip without myself or her father. Not one person warned me that not only would I have to let my daughter go, but I would only get to talk to her once a day while she is away.
This weekend I will be dropping my daughter off to ride on a bus with all of her friends to take a 12-hour drive up to Washington D.C. I still can’t believe she is old enough to be going on this trip. I knew this day was coming. I’ve watched for years as the 5th graders before her went on this trip thinking, “One day, that will be me sending my daughter on that trip.”
No matter how long I’ve known about this trip and no matter how long we’ve prepared for this trip, I still don’t feel ready. I’ve been to meetings, talked with the chaperones, and bought everything she needs for this trip and I’m still not ready to let go.
But bright and early Friday morning I’m going to give her a big hug and let her go knowing that she’ll be back in a few short days. And I’ll try my best not to let her see me cry as she gets on that bus. I think she’s seen me cry enough this year as she’s sailed through the 5th grade.