Those of you who know me know my older daughter (who will be seven next week!) is very attached. She is brilliant and tender and wise beyond her years. She has empathy at levels most adults can only… well, she’s very, very empathetic. We have struggled over the years with the line between respecting her needs (staying with Mommy has always been her preference) and doing our jobs as parents (making the bigger decisions for her). More than most people, we have eased her in to separations. Sometimes it’s difficult because mainstream wisdom says she’s manipulating us while alternative wisdom says we’re teaching her she’s not capable on her own. Stubbornly, though, we’ve listened to our hearts. We know our daughter. We will make mistakes, of course, but we won’t make choices based on what other people think we should do.
So today when I brought her to horseback riding camp (a place she has visited twice in her life for a few minutes each time) where there were thirteen children (her busiest day at her regular school has 10) she’d never met (she’s known most of her classmates for years) and where the day would be from 9-4:30 (her school day is typically 9:15ish to 3:20ish) you could say I was surprised when she said quickly, “Okay, goodbye!” and literally shoved me toward my car.
I’ll admit I’ve spent the day expecting a call that she’s crying and I should come get her. This happens at school with some regularity, though I don’t go get her (typically) because she calls only moments before the end of the school day. But it’s 3pm, no call. Her sister napped. I got a break. Here are some photos of my big, big girl.
I am proud.