My child isn’t really leaving home.
But he is going on a school trip to Quebec, and it’s his first trip without his family. He’s been in a French Immersion program for eight years, and in his final year of elementary school, he gets to travel with his classmates to La Belle Province.
This is a great opportunity to practice his French, explore a different part of our country, and immerse himself in the unique Quebecois culture.
Safety is not a concern for me, because he’s already been on a residential trip. I can’t remember for the life of me what it was called, but it was pretty similar to Allnat where my cousin’s children have visited, so I know he’ll be fine. There will be teacher and parent chaperones, and the tour is guided by professionals. It will be fantastic experience, and I’m excited for him.
But, I wish I could be there to share in his discoveries, and tuck him in at night. I’m reconciling myself to the fact that he will have experiences and memories that will differ from mine. It’s the beginning of his path away from his childhood and into adolescence and ultimately, adulthood. It’s a bittersweet happiness.
But, I did the same thing. I was a little older, and probably more daring (or crazy) in some ways. I still can’t believe my mother allowed me to board a plane at 19 for a long weekend far, far away from home, to another country, all by myself. I certainly survived, (and had a great time), and became more independent for the experience.
I thank my mother for allowing me to do that, and realize that as a parent, it’s my duty to loosen those apron strings, a little more each passing year.
Bon voyage, mon chou! A bientôt…
Photo Credit: J.Thornton