My daughter will have a wonderful exchange.
I was blogging away so well…until we got the news that my daughter is leaving us for France next year. I guess I should deal with the issues that this raises for me. One of the reasons that this is hard is that she reads my blog – both of my children read it. That is OK, I don’t mind, but as a parent I try to hide my frailties. I don’t want my children to have all of my faults, even to know about some of them. I don’t pretend to be perfect, but I would hate for my fears and insecurities to be passed on. They don’t always need to know how my mind works! I am trying to establish a secure environment for them – one where they can be children without cares and I will worry about the bad stuff for them. This may be a huge parenting mistake on my behalf – maybe in doing this I have restricted their emotional freedom. I don’t think that I have – they laugh easily and show passion. I just want to shield them, I want them to be oblivious to my conflicts and turmoils so that they will only feel the joy and see the positives.
SO…while my mind is only just beginning to think about the reality of 2008 and the enormous impact that I will feel on my daughter’s departure, I want to tell you, from time to time, the reasons that she was selected. These are the reasons that she should go. These are the reasons that this is the right thing to happen. These are the things on which my mind should focus.
REASON ONE – INDEPENDENCE
My girl was born completely self-sufficient. She has never been needy, she has always been very good company for herself. This is not to say that she is a loner – far from it, she has a wide social group and some very close friends. She enjoys having people over at our place and visiting others. She has just never really needed others to make decisions for her. This photo was taken when she was three. We were on holidays in Cairns with my sister and her husband. Ashleigh has taken herself off to read while we are unpacking and organising things. She probably sat here for a good half hour, just enjoying the Bananas in Pyjamas book. She had no doubt memorised the story by then.
During this year she spent a lot of time with Sussanah. Sussanah was looking after her a couple of days each week while I worked. Sussanah was a uni student, but was also working at the student union. Ashleigh spent a lot of time at the student union offices. Once, in the days before mobile phones, Sussanah had a car problem and was late to pick her up. I was worried that I would be late for work and had no idea where Sussanah was or how long I would have to wait. Ashleigh said, “You just go Mum. I’ll be fine to wait for Sussanah.” I actually looked down at my three year old girl and for a nano-second thought that she would be fine. She has always had such a sensible, centred attitude. I am certain that she would have just calmly read a book while she waited. I didn’t leave her – I would never have done it, but I knew, at that point, that she was more that capable of looking after herself and not frightened of the prospect of doing so.
I know that she will look after herself in France. She will remain centred, she will astound others with her ability to resolve issues alone. She will find ways to entertain herself if she has to. She will be able to find and negotiate medical help, financial issues and practical day to day life.
She will be fine!
Off topic now – a song I’m loving ( and I usually hate the violin).