Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Letting go...

My eldest daughter is off on an adventure. At the time I am typing this, she and her dad are probably wandering around the capital city of the Russian Federation, looking for Red Square. That, or they've collapsed onto their hotel beds for a quick snooze before checking out Moscow's night life.

Ever since she learned about Russia in high school Social Studies, our girl has been making plans to go. As she wasn't sure what she wanted to do right after school, she opted to work in a dental office for a year so she could save money for her trip to Russia and other points in Europe proper. And now she's finally there! I'm excited for her -- and, I'll admit, a little envious.

Because of the hassles of getting visas and needing to be "invited" into the Russian Federation, she learned that she couldn't just waltz in there and do as she pleased for as long as she wanted. She also decided that it might be good to let her dad come along for safety's sake, thank goodness. So the two will see Moscow and St. Petersburg before flying back to Munich where our girl will stay with a friend of mine for a few days before striking out on her own to see Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Norway (where another friend of mine has promised her a bike trip through the fjords!)

I'll admit I've had my share of misgivings about this trip. She is my baby, after all... but she's also always been the most independent of our girls. Having been the stay-home mom, I've been finding it a bit difficult to let go of my role as chief supporter, cheerleader, and minder -- especially when she left her wallet in the movie theatre on Saturday, and had to return home for her dental retainer when she was supposed to be on her way to the airport. I hope her head stays attached through Europe!

For the past few weeks, I've struggled a lot with the emotion that comes with "launching our bundle," as my husband puts it. She's proven herself to have adult sensibilities in most matters, but letting go is not something that comes easy to very many mothers, I suspect. I was not looking forward to saying goodbye at the airport. Every time I thought about it, my eyes would overflow.

So when my husband suggested that we go to church yesterday morning, it was the last thing I wanted to do -- have time with my thoughts and all those overwhelming emotions in the middle of a crowd of people. I forgot that it was Pentecost, the Feast of the Holy Spirit... and I didn't expect that the Holy Spirit would rest on me and make it so much easier to let go than I had expected. Sure, there were a few tears at the airport and on the drive home with my younger daughters (who will miss their big sister, but are probably also breathing a sigh of relief that she won't be dominating supper conversations for the next few months), but it all went much better than expected.

Our "bundle" has been "launched" into the big wide world, and we trust that, under our care, she's developed the tools and talents necessary to make her way.

God go with you, Christina, and keep you safe. Have a wonderful trip!

Love you,

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