It's almost 1am and I'm sitting here at my computer trying not to cry.
In a few short hours Katie is going to girls camp for the first time. She is so excited, which makes me happy. She says no thanks everytime I tell her that she can stay home with me, which makes me happy and sad. For the record, I had a great time at girls camp. I loved every minute of it, with the exception of 1 day the first year that I went. But that's a story for another day.
When I write posts, I try to be funny and light-hearted, even if that's not how I'm feeling. It brightens my mood. But today, I just can't muster up the energy to be funny and light-hearted. The fact of the matter is: I'm dreading the next few days.
I know that I'm going to send my little girl to camp, and in some ways that little girl won't ever come back. She's going to comeback a young woman. She'll come back changed. I will still have the beautiful girl that she has always been. She'll still be goofy and silly. She'll be the most organized person I know and still have a messy room. She'll still be the picky eater of my family. But she will also come back completely different.
She'll comeback after spending a few day completely without me, and I really hate that fact. I hate that everyday she'll need me less and less. I hate the fact that she'll learn and grow and progress and I won't be there to see it. Katie is becoming such a wonderful young woman. She has purpose and substance. She has strength and stability. She has the power to make me laugh and cry. She has taught me how to really love someone.
The night Chris (Katie's older brother) was born, I was sitting in a hospital bed holding my beautiful new baby boy. I was so happy. I remember my dad leaning down and whispering in my ear: "...enjoy this moment sweetheart, because tomorrow your sending him on his mission." I remembering being so mad at my dad for this comment. I remember telling him to "...buzz off..." because I wanted to enjoy the moment. The reason I'm sharing this story, is that I do feel like I'm sending my kids off on a mission.
I know it's only girls camp, but I feel like my kids have grown up so fast. And I feel like I've missed it. I've been there, but I've been caught up in so many other things I haven't really enjoyed the journey. I have a close friend that I wish I was more like, because she truly enjoys every moment of being with her children. She enjoys listening to their funny stories and stupid jokes. She loves jumping on the trampoline and making fun birthday cakes. I'm not saying that she's perfect, or that she doesn't get frustrated, but I do wish I was more like her. Greg seems to have this ability as well. He is so content just sitting back and watching the miracle of the moment.
I walked out of my room last night and overheard Katie saying her prayers. That as a mother is a wonderful moment. She asked in her prayer that all my kidney stones will go away, so her mom can be healthy again. She also asked God to send her Papa a new liver so he can be healthy too, and we can all be happy. I stood there and listened and realized that my girl is growing up. The baby that was so small I was scared to hold is growing up to be an amazing woman. I must have done something right alone the way somewhere to have such an amazing young woman as my daughter.
She is not without her problems. She has a short fuse and yells at her sister and brother all the time. She has a messy room. She's not very good at math. She is very picky about what she's willing to eat. She watches too much TV. She is far from perfect. But I don't think I could love her any more than I do now.
I guess the point of this post is that I am blessed to have such a wonderful young woman as my daughter, but I'm sad that she's growing up so fast. She's leaving for girls camp in a few hours and I know that she's never going to be the same again. She's going to go away and she's going to have fun with her friends. She'll laugh and giggle and not sleep. She's going to learn from amazing leaders that love her and she will learn to love them. She is going to build relationships and memories that she'll have for the rest of her life. And I won't be a part of any of it. I know that some of this is my choice and I feel so guilty about that, but I also know that she has to do this. I know this is an experience that she wants and needs.
I know that I'm long-winded and am probably over-reactingto this as I do about so man things. I'm happy for Katie and I'm excited to hear about all her adventures that are coming. But I don't like the fact that everyday she needs me less and less. I know that as a parent the best thing I can do for my kids is to let go and watch them soar, but that is the hardest thing I will ever do.
Post Script: I don't have the energy to proof-read this post, so I apologize for all my spelling errors and typo's.