My oldest daughter has gone away to work at a summer camp, as a counsellor. Then in September she's off to university (out of town). And she won't even be 18 until November!
I moved away from home at age 20, and I still wasn't ready, but then, I was a bit of a princess.
When I came to live and work in Toronto, my sister said, "And don't expect me to do everything for you, like Mom does. You'll have to do your own laundry, cooking and cleaning."
"Do you mean...you won't wake me up with a back rub and tell me my coffee's ready?"
Yep, it was a different wake up call, altogether.
I don't worry about the decisions she'll make. Her character is pretty solid, although she'll make her own mistakes, like we did. I only fear that when she's off to university, after having had a Christian education and a job at a Christian camp, it will be a culture shock. We really have sheltered them from the big, bad world out there, and I cringe at the thought of what she'll encounter.
All I can do is pray, and send her off to make her own way.
I was quite tearful for a week or so before she left, wondering if there were any last minute things I needed to tell her, "Don't trust guys. They'll say anything." You get the idea.
But now she's gone, and I'm surprisingly okay with it. I've only sent her two care packages, talked to her three times on the phone (she called me), and sent a few e-mails. I'm letting go.
We still have our other daughter at home, and she's quite enjoying the exclusive parental attention. I'd like to believe that she really wanted to spend quality mother-daughter time with me at the mall, and it wasn't just for my debit card to pay for her purchases.