A lifestyle blog from a forty-something mum

Showing posts with label Lone travel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lone travel. Show all posts

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Letting Go of our Adult Children

It's not easy to let go of our children, no matter how old they are. But if you love your offspring aren't you supposed to set them free, in the hope that some day they'll come back to you with a deeper level of understanding and respect?

If you fail to support their decisions, will they ever turn into responsible adults who can cope with the chaos of real life?

When daughter, Sophia, announced that she wanted to apply for Camp America this summer, I had no problem with that. What worried me were her plans to stay in the US for three weeks at the end of camp and travel alone. Especially as she's five foot nothing and could easily pass for fifteen years of age.

My father was furious with me for supporting Sophia's decision, but as she's almost 21 years of age what are you supposed to do exactly? I remembered the time when he barred me from visiting New York at the age of eighteen, to work as an au pair for six months. I have never forgotten this, and suspect my decision to support my daughter was partly an act of rebellion almost thirty years too late.

You hope only that you've equipped your children with the skills to survive in the real world. As a family we've travelled a lot and our daughters are used to getting lost, lugging cases and getting out of scrapes. I was cautiously optimistic that Sophia would cope well with the highs and the lows of her trip.

And so, she travelled with my blessing. I hoped that we'd stay in touch, but a non-existent mobile signal put pay to that and instead, I received only intermittent emails for three long months. I went to bed each night and fell asleep hoping that she was safe.

During this summer my daughter has...

Been bitten by a poisonous spider.

Got completely and utterly lost in Downtown LA.

Lost her glasses in the Pacific Ocean. 

And that's just what she's shared so far...

She's also...

Worked incredibly hard.

Been on an amazing adventure.

Learnt to trust her own instincts.

Grown-up a lot.

And made lots of new friends.

Can a mum wish for any more than that?

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