Mom I love you but we aren't going to live with each other forever. Mom you do know that I don't want to live in New York for the rest of my life right? Mom life in the states sucks, there is a whole big world out there to see and enjoy. These are just a few of the statements my lil sunshine has been sharing with me for the past fifteen years.
Like her father, my daughter is a huge explorer, they are pretty Fearless. I admire them very much for that. I credit that as one of the reasons I was drawn and fell in love with her dad so long ago. He never limited himself to an area or to any thought. All things were possible you just had to think it, put it in motion and move your two feet. They don't see obstacles or hold too tight to people, places and things.
illustration by buzz quotes.com
So when my lil mama began to comment about education and studying in other places back in high school I began to keep a Rolodex of the info she was providing and began to keep an open mind. I began to slowly prepare for any "surprises". When she finished H.S. all in NYC I thought whew! we got past that. Today, third year into College we have decided to take a semester and study in...Thailand! What?! Seriously? Yes mom...seriously.
Well that is just one of her choices but she would love to go there for sure. Of course as her mother any time away from her she will be missed but as a women and as her top supporter I said go for it!!! Travel, see the world, learn new things, live your life! You only live once so make the most of your time on this earth. I don't ever even recall this being an option while I was growing up but I know if it had been I would have wanted to do it as an escape from my family much more than as a learning experience.
I would have been running away from and not running to a life experience and that wouldn't have been the right way to do things. I never want to hold my daughter back nor have I ever done so with anything. My responsibility is to guide, to teach, to listen and communicate...together. Her comment to me recently as she began her application process was "I know I am ready for all of this and I look forward to the opportunity, I just want you to be ok when I am gone." to which I replied, "I love you and will miss you but we have so many means of communicating we will be fine. I am proud of you for being so Fearless and living a full life, I did a great job and I am proud of both of us." I did my part twenty years in she's an amazing young lady, hard worker and generous and loved by many why would I stifle her growth now?
illustration by buzz quotes.com
Parenting as far as the label is concerned is forever but we are only vessels used to bring forth new life. We don't own our children we can only hope we do a good enough job in which they love us so that they want to stick around and be with us long term. They don't have to do anything but we also hope that what we have done for them builds bonds which we in turn call "family".
I'm enjoying watching her in this process, I look forward to great results. One of her friends already left for Amsterdam another is preparing to go to Berlin. I love these kids for having the courage of exploration. I think some of us adults as we mature/age loose sight of that and become so set in our ways we get "old" too quickly. I am looking forward to my own "exploration" while she is away and see what I am made of as well.
These are some links I came across while I was doing some research that helped me understand the whole process and had great tips. As parents the more we know the better and the more support and options we are aware of the smoother some choices can be. If you have a child or know someone who may be interested in studying Abroad instead of holding on to the fear of letting go perhaps arm yourself with tons of info that can make it easier to say good bye.
illustration by sowhymorrocco.wordpress.com
If you are in this same journey please share how you are handling it or if you have already been here done that please share your experience with me. I would love to hear your stories.
Always stress free xo.