She’s Leaving Home

All my friends with older children assured me of the following: Even though I was the mother crying in the school parking lot on the first day of kindergarten, by the time the kids were teenagers, I wouldn’t be nearly as sad to see them go.

Willow is 14. She’s a good kid and we’re very proud of her. She was born on her due date, and in the early years, always ranked in the 50th percentile for height and weight. She’s maintained exemplary grades, never gets sick, and she’s chosen really nice friends. She’s definitely a normal girl with typical teenage mood swings, and occasional lapses into unacceptable bouts of selfishness. Fortunately, that’s an easy fix. All we need to do to get her attention AND get her back on track is to take away her cell phone for a few days. Lo and behold, our sweet daughter returns.

So, while I’m not sad to see her leave on an eight-day adventure to Washington DC and New York City with her eighth grade class, I am keenly aware that this will be the longest separation she’s had from us. And it makes me a little nervous. Will she behave? Will she execute everything she’s been taught about being a good and respectful citizen while not under the constant watch of her parents? This is a true rite of passage and I know, with the incredible itinerary the school staff has planned, she will have the experience of a lifetime.

I can’t help but wonder, however, after 14 years of being her mother, can I stop worrying about flippin’ EVERYTHING for just five minutes?

Mostly, for the next eight days, I’m going to miss Willow’s sense of humor. There’s very little about her that doesn’t brighten my world at least once a day.

Thank God for cell phones.

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