So my daughter’s solo trip to a foreign country that spanned an ocean is coming to a close. This has been to date one of the hardest things I’ve had to endure as a parent. Although she has been traveling quite a good deal since her early teens, this is the first time she was headed out of the country and she planned, funded and organized the entire thing herself.
When she first mentioned she wanted to go, I was upset. I couldn’t handle my own feelings of fear, danger, separation, the unknown. But I had no way to say no, it wasn’t my decision. It didn’t matter that there were all sorts of attacks on innocents abroad, nor alarming bombings in Europe where she was headed. She was going. And, she wasn’t asking permission, only that I might offer support and excitement for her great adventure.
My gawd, I could not imagine myself on such a solo adventure, not even now. I am 50 and she was headed out determined to celebrate her 20th birthday on her own terms and in a manner in which she would create her own memories that would last forever.
This journey has been a defining line, one that clearly moved her out of the teens and into the twenties as a woman who knows her own mind and is confident in who she is and what she wants out of life. It has been a journey for me as well. A definite letting go experience that was personally painful but infinitely rewarding to see her grow and conquer this rite of passage.
Je Taime Emily