children and nature / family / MOTHERHOOD / out and about

somebody hold my hand

somebody hold my hand

Just an hour ago, I dropped Emma off in the woods. For the next four days she'll be off at 4-H Camp.

We checked in, dropped sunscreen and bug spray with the camp nurse, got checked for head lice, and tucked her in to her top bunk. She met her counselors, her Nanticoke tribemates, and she latched on to her friends. 

I checked to be sure she was okay. "Are you nervous? Are you sure??

And I checked again. And then maybe even one more time.

And then that was it. I'd done all I could do. I kissed her–a big wet one right on the lips. 

She said goodbye to her sisters. 

And she gave Birdy the biggest, longest hug and kiss of all of us. 

There was no working up to this. No easing in to being away from home for so many nights. Suddenly she was just ready. Fearless.

And all this week, I'm going to tell myself that her independence is a sign of good parenting, and that she misses us, and this afternoon we'll probably write her a letter–because nothings better than camp mail. 

I'm ready for this, right? Growing up is a good thing.

I think. 

 

somebody hold my hand

Just an hour ago, I dropped Emma off in the woods. For the next four days she'll be off at 4-H Camp.

We checked in, dropped sunscreen and bug spray with the camp nurse, got checked for head lice, and tucked her in to her top bunk. She met her counselors, her Nanticoke tribemates, and she latched on to her friends. 

I checked to be sure she was okay. "Are you nervous? Are you sure??

And I checked again. And then maybe even one more time.

And then that was it. I'd done all I could do. I kissed her–a big wet one right on the lips. 

She said goodbye to her sisters. 

And she gave Birdy the biggest, longest hug and kiss of all of us. 

There was no working up to this. No easing in to being away from home for so many nights. Suddenly she was just ready. Fearless.

And all this week, I'm going to tell myself that her independence is a sign of good parenting, and that she misses us, and this afternoon we'll probably write her a letter–because nothings better than camp mail. 

I'm ready for this, right? Growing up is a good thing.

I think. 

 

18 comments on “somebody hold my hand”

  1. I just wrote about mine leaving for the day without saying goodbye, or a kiss, or an acknowledgement, or anything. I cannot imagine how this will fare.

    Mine went to daycamp last week and I watched her with all the other kids on the lodge porch with her towel around her shoulders, and I was torn between being so proud of her and wanting to pull over to the side of the road and cry.

    I would like to think that means we have done a good job, right? The whole point of the journey being building their wings strong enough for them to fly away?

    I hope your girl has a great time and I hope she comes back with penpals and all matter of exciting news to spill out.

    Thank you for posting this, it’s nice to know there are others of us making the same journey.

  2. What a great gift you are giving her. Such a tough time for mama, though. Be strong. Enjoy your other kiddos during this time, and let her soar.

  3. Confident independence IS a sign of good parenting. And having kids gone for a bit makes it oh-so-sweet when they’re home. In very few years, she’ll be off at college (or somewhere like it) for 6 months at a time. This is good training for both of you.

  4. I’ve only just found out i’m pregnant with my first, and i’m already feeling ridiculously protective. I can’t begin to imagine how hard it is to let go for the first time. You’ve done really well Molly!

  5. The first child and the first year are hard on Mama but wonderful for the child.A walk we all must walk. I promise it is easier with number two!

  6. I had a hard time when mine went to spend the night with my cousin and my parents! Now, I can handle that but the thought of a week with people I don’t know…

    But, she is having a blast, making friends, making memories and learning so much. She’ll have a billion stories for you when you get her back to the nest!

  7. IT must be in the air. I just wrote about growing up on Monday. When they are little it just seems like they will be little forever. Growing up seems so. far. away. But sneaks up so darn fast. I hope your girl has a wonderful time at camp. And I hope you survive the wait to see her home.

    :)Lisa

  8. Oh, yes it is! But I think it’s harder on the parent than the child, or maybe it’s both of us having to share in that independence (from one another).

  9. My oldest went to camp for three weeks last summer. What a strange and strong thing, to have kids so brave and independent!

  10. My oldest LOVES camp. He can’t wait to go every year. He says “its the most fun he has ever had”. This year he is taking along his sister, my only girl. She is not so sure she wants to go, but I know I need to encourage her to spread her wings a little. Part of me wants to hold on tight for just one more year.

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