Well, tomorrow morning my daughter will be leaving for Costa Rica as part of a (sorta/kinda) school trip sponsored by the science teacher of her elementary school. This teacher has escorted students to Costa Rica for the past twelve or so years and this year is Erin’s chance to go.
Little hard for me to fathom that my little darlin’ is actually going to be traveling thousands of miles away. Kinda scary. For me more so than her. Don’t get me wrong … I think this trip is
a wonderful opportunity for her to experience a foreign country and to do a lot of learning along the way. Not only will they be doing a lot of hiking, the students will also be studying the rainforest, whitewater rafting and even zip-lining. I’m told that most of the accommodations will be rather standard, hot water will be iffy, meals will be basic … not exactly a luxury vacation.
Still, the trip will no doubt prove to be a liberating experience. Not only is my daughter visiting a foreign country, but she’s learning a number of valuable life lessons. Independence being one of the most important, in my opinion. This will go far in teaching her to rely on herself, particularly when she’s ready to leave for college, or even just leave home to strike out on her own.
I also think it will be a learning experience for all of us. As difficult as it is, I have to be able to let go. Parents cannot cling to their children and continuously interfere with their lives. We have to come to a point where we acknowledge that we’ve done everything we could in raising our child … hopefully to instill common sense, self-worth and confidence in our children.
I certainly know that a lot of work and effort went into fund raising for this trip and I want to say that over half the cost was covered in these endeavors. There was the Breakfast with Santa, the take home fund raiser, Breakfast with the Easter Bunny and my personal favorite, the flower sale. (Made a killing with that one). I think participating in these fund raising efforts also went a long way to a sense of responsibility and growing maturity.
So, how ‘bout you? Have you had to let go? Watch your little chickies spread their wings and test the boundaries of life without you standing behind them ready to catch them with a safety net? Gotta say, I have a feelin’ this coming ten days are going to be some of the most difficult days of my life.