Yesterday morning (Sunday) I experienced another step in letting go of my child.
My daughter left to go on a four-day trip and, as I stepped into our home after dropping her off at the school, I felt her missing spirit. I am used to her random hugs, her chattiness at the table, the sound of her voice when she talks to her sister. By the end of the day we all sorely missed her – and while we hoped that she was enjoying her experience, we look forward to seeing her again and hearing her voice.
I have realised that, as my daughter’s mom, I am slowly being introduced to the experience of letting go of my child. Thinking back, I remember the other times I have had to help her experience her independence and her steps into the unknown without me:
- The time spent on the playground when I had to trust that she could climb the structures by herself; that she could make friends with others; and that she could solve the small confrontations she experienced.
- The first day at school when I had to walk away, uncertain and trusting, hoping that the teacher would look after my little one and keep her environment safe.
- The first time she went on a school trip and I was not there to make sure that she did not get lost.
- The first time she went to the cinema with her older brother without me, pleased that no parents were with them.
- The first time she went to sleepover at her cousin’s place brimming with joy and excitement.
A gap is left in the home when my daughter is not at home. As she gets older, I know that her space will be emptied more often – and for longer periods of time. I am hoping that in this way I am able to prepare myself for the time she moves out of our home to create one of her own.
What is your response when your child goes on a trip? How do you fill the gap that has been left behind?
© Colline Kook-Chun, 2012