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.