Thursday, January 22, 2015

She's Baaaaacck!

So for any of you wondering, yes Sonya came back safe and sound last Friday afternoon.  She had a fantastic time and talked ALL DAY LONG about her adventures at OSS.  They did so many things, from hikes, to rock wall climbing, archery to astronomy.  She did get to bunk in a cabin with all of her best friends and surprisingly nobody fought.  Well, at least none that she told me about.  She definitely missed us as we we missed her.  Although, to be honest it wasn't to hard the first day or two.  She is gone so much these day with extracurricular activities, that it wasn't until the day to day of breakfast or dinner or bedtime, that I started to really noticed her absence.  Then it started to get hard.  

My little girls said they missed her too.  I will admit, having one less to take care of was a bit nice since there was less fighting, but only a little less.  No worries-there was still fighting that occurred with those two.  I swear they are going to be in their 90s, in a home, bickering and making up until the day they die.  

Anyway, it was a good experience for all of us.  Lana and Georgia realized they liked having their big sister around and she missed them.  They were all actually really nice to each other for about the first two hours she was home.  I think two hours was the limit.  The novelty of missing someone wears off quickly.  

The important part about all of this is the fact that she did get to go away and be on her own.  Out of my three girls, Sonya has always been the one who has clung to us the most.  She is the kid who cried EVERY DAY for TWO MONTHS when I dropped her off at preschool.  Since she was five years old she has worried about growing up and moving away from home.  I assured her then that she won't feel like that forever, but I don't think she believed me.  So when this trip finally came up she and I were both a bit nervous.  She did it though and she realized what a great time she can have on her own.  She learned that she can take care of herself,  and that there are other people even more messy than she is.  

I feel so incredibly lucky that my kids go to a school where a program like this is possible.  For those of you out there who don't have something like this at your school, I encourage you to find a sleep away camp this summer for kids about this age.  It doesn't have to be for more than a few nights, but just those few nights can boost a kids confidence about themselves and their place in this world.  In a time where we are afraid to let our kids ride their bikes four streets over by themselves, and we tend to "helicopter parent" over everything they do, it's important that we give them this freedom.  It's important for them and for us as parents.  Yes, you might think that 10 is to young, and it is to be completely on their own, which these kids weren't.  They had camp counselors and teachers there.  Don't worry, they were still watched, just not by their parents.  Well unless you count the pictures we could see on Facebook.  However, they are all so used to that because it's their reality.  I loved being able to see Sonya having a great time.  It made me feel better to know she was happy, even if I didn't have any contact with her for four days.  

So yeah-I know I'm up here on my soapbox, but I just see so many parents these days who don't let their kids out of their sight.  Even at ten.  This is going to lead to a generation of kids who don't know how to do anything on their own.  If you are one of these parents, think about loosening the apron strings even if you don't want to completely cut them yet.  Let them ride that bike four streets over.  Send them away for a few days.  Let them discover who they are on their own.   If you don't, you will have nobody to blame but yourself when you have your 32 year old "baby" still sitting on your couch watching cartoons every Saturday morning.  

Thanks to Bret Harte for helping me loosen my own apron strings.  In three and four years I get to do it all again!

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