I boldly set my fourteen-year old daughter on the bus headed for NYC and watched it pull away. I actually had that same feeling I had when I set my first one off to kindergarten on our family’s very first day of the public school experience. So many milestones, so many experiences along the road to adulthood.
I was afraid for her not because I thought she couldn’t handle it, but because the world is full of risks and uncertainty, and I was leaving my girl in the care of her big brother. He told me ahead of time what they’d do and it all sounded like typical college fare except for the fact that we are talking about NYC.
She came home happy as could be a day later, proud of her fearlessness and sporting a very interesting new haircut the two had managed to arrange by a friend in a dorm room.
Even though I worried about my girl’s safety in New York, I slept fine that night because I knew I’d done all I could to prepare her for this big step and I knew she, and her brother, were ready for it. Whether it is for the first day of kindergarten or for the first day of traveling the wider world all alone, being able to let go every step of the way is the goal of all the bonding we value in our kids’ childhoods.