This past weekend marked an important step for my daughter and I. She went away for the weekend with family friends and I had to step back from being my daughter's caretaker.
She's had sleepovers before but this was different. She would be in another state without her parents for four days. She would be at Woodloch in Hawley, Pennsylvania, with family friends whom she considered as family so there was no reason for me to worry, yet I did.
Prior to her leaving, I was so busy making sure she had everything she needed that I didn't think of anything else. I even went so far as to call the resort she would be staying at to inform them of her dairy allergy. As a mother, I felt that I was taking care of her.
Communication between my daughter and I consisted of texts once or twice a day. I didn't mind that she didn't call since she preferred texting. A part of me wanted to call her every few hours, but I knew that it would only interrupt the vacation she was having with her friends, so I didn't.
It wouldn't dawn on me until she came back that I might have done her a disservice by taking care of almost everything she needed. Yes, she packed her own bags, but I still felt that I needed to organize everything before she got there so she wouldn't have to do anything. I worried that she would forget to do something or forget to ask if whatever she was eating had dairy in it, that I lost sight of what I was doing to her.
When she came home, I realized that she did fine without her parents there, especially me. I was so busy making sure she would be okay that I didn't stop to think that she was more than capable of taking care of herself. It was so easy for me to do things for her like I usually did, but in this case, she proved to me that she could take care of herself.
As for me, I learned that it was okay for me to lay low and just see how things unfolded because at the end of the day, I had no control over what happened that weekend. My daughter is twelve, almost thirteen, but sometimes, I still think of her as a five year-old who needs her mother to do everything for her. I have to remember that letting her figure out what she needs to do on a daily basis will help her become self-sufficient and confident about her choices in the future. I can't promise that I won't help out, but I can let her go through the experience of making decisions and see how she handles the results. That's my take on this, what's yours?
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