Today, we took our baby to the airport.
She is going to Buenos Aires, Argentina
4,702.5 nautical miles
to live for 4 months.
When I think about her I think about this picture. It is one of my favorites.
She is my adventurous child.
She decided to take up sports in high school. We were skeptical. But she ran Cross Country and Track and made it to State meets in both sports.
She has gone skydiving.
She got a tatto (without telling us, read about that here).
She’s sassy and strong-willed and smart.
As with most things in her life, we let her make this decision and do the vast majority of work to make it a reality. Truly, she is so sick of paperwork, that she was beginning to think the journey wasn’t worth it.
Growing up is hard sometimes.
But it’s also hard on Mamas and Papas.
When they are little, you can scoop them up when they fall down. You can fix their boo boos. You can make things right and protect them and take care of them.
When they grow up and call you far away from home with a problem, it is much harder. As a parent, the initial instinct is to try to take care of things for them. But that is not how they learn and grow and become self sufficient adults.
Parents of adult and nearly adult children learn to parent more by listening and advising (very carefully) than by doing.
Our youngest daughter is a risk taker. She is willing to put herself out there and put herself into situations outside of her comfort zone. In a big way.
Me. I’ve mostly played it safe. Followed the rules. Tried to be a good girl and do the right thing and always err on the side of caution.
I’m proud of myself for raising children who are willing to do more and be more than their Mama.
We hope she has a great adventure living with her Argentine family.
And that she comes home safe to Mama and Papa in a few months.
Postscript – I could have taken a much different tack in writing this post. You see, as children grow up, sometimes they make it easy for you when they leave the nest. Our oldest daughter became so difficult to live with during her senior year in high school, that we were ready to throw her and her things to the curb. It made it much easier to say good bye when we dropped her off at college.
Our baby was nervous about this adventure. It was evident in her behavior and words the last few days as we’ve helped her to finalize details to live over 5,000 miles away from home.
I believe that this is God’s way of helping us to let go. Amen.