This weekend, our oldest daughter will be going away with her school concert band to perform. She requested that my wife and I do not chaperone. It makes me sad that she is at the age now that she doesn’t want anything to do with mom & dad. I knew it was coming and could already sense that she is embarrassed by her parents (like most teenagers). I dropped her off at school this morning, helped unload the suitcase from the trunk and offered to take it inside for her. She refused my assistance and decided she could take everything herself.
She had her backpack on, her flute and music in one hand, & a suitcase in the other hand and was ready to head into the school. I stood at the back of the car and as she turned to leave, I stole a hug. At first she squirmed and tried to wrangle free. But I held her a bit longer than usual. I could feel her embarrassment slip away and she let me have a moment because no one was looking. This phase in her life will eventually pass. I know she cares about her family. I remember acting in a similar fashion towards my mother at her age.
Next weekend, my wife and I are taking our two youngest on another road trip. Our oldest daughter will remain behind with her Oma & Opa. With the end of the school year closing in, my wife & I knew that we couldn’t take her away from her studies. Again, I feel that our family dynamic is changing, & my little girl is growing up (and apart from us). I am saddened by this turn of events, but knew this day would come. It will also make me sad when our other two children reach this stage in their lives.
I hate to admit this, but a little part of my wife and I are relieved to be traveling without our oldest. Becoming a teen, our eldest child has made life for her siblings a tad annoying. There is always a fight going on, bossiness taking over, mumbling under the breath, or a sarcastic answer being given.
The hardest part about parenting is letting your children grow up. I love my kids and hope they understand why we do what we do as parents. They need to explore the world and expand their horizons. I just wish it didn’t come with the bad attitude.