Be careful what you wish for
(with thanks to Kate Calvert for the title of this post:)
" Twenty years from now you'll be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
Today we took Sophie to the airport and she got on a big, jet plane and took off to America for 6 months.
When she hugged me goodbye I just wanted to scream at her to get back in her baby cot where I could control her every move and keep her safe.
Of course I didn't, (mainly because I knew Geoff & Jaime were ready to gang tackle me if I did!) and with a happy little wave she strode off confidently through the 'gates of no return' while I tried to sob quietly so she wouldn't hear me.
14 years ago, when she was just 7, she took her first overseas trip with her sister and me and I remember telling her that it would be the first of many trips for her. That I wished her a lifetime of travel & exploring and that one day she would grow up to be a confident young woman who would take her destiny in own her hands and seek adventure in new places & live every minute of her life to the full.
In between then & now we encouraged her to set goals, to dream large, to aim high. We helped her to set boundaries for her behaviour, we praised when things went well, we condemned mediocrity. We traveled all over the countryside for sport, we saved hard so she could go to university.
She responded by having a go at everything, excelling in most things and persevering with the others. She developed great self belief & the confidence to bounce back from setbacks and learn from her mistakes. She stuck to her goal of finishing her degree in the States and got several jobs to earn the money to get herself there.
So, today I got that wish from long ago.
Treasure your children. Keep them close until it's time for them to fly the nest. Time passes quickly. 7 yr olds become grown ups overnight!
Parenting is hard.
If you get it right your children do just what Sophie did today.
We've done a good job. And so has she.
Happy trails Fofie. Explore, dream, discover. Take the path least travelled, but don't forget to wear your sunscreen and watch out for bees!