Every parent will tell you that their children amaze them. I’m no exception.
Granted, they don’t always amaze me in good ways. For example, the other day when my daughter asked me for a thingy for the thing, I was amazed that she was my child. But most of the time it’s in a good way.
Today was a good way.
My youngest has left school. Though she is now sixteen, I still think of her as a child but this week she is doing something that shows just how much she has grown.
Today she left for NCS. For those who dont know, this stands for National Citizen Service. It’s a four week course that teaches life skills and helps the community.
What amazes me about this is the fact that she has gone alone. Even though she knows no one on this course, today she left for week one, camping and outwards bounds activities, with a group of total strangers.
As I watched her go this morning, tears streaming down my face and totally embarrassing her, the courage she has astounded me. I would never go on a four week course alone. But my daughter has shown a bravery I did not expect by deciding to do this.
So now I sit by my phone, wondering if she has a signal to respond to my concerned texts.
As a mother I can’t help but worry.
Will she find people to be friends with?
Is her sleeping bag going to be warm enough?
Who will save her from the insects in the woods? If I’m honest, I’m really curious about that one.
As the phone silence stretches, I assume I won’t know any answers until friday when she returns. I have no choice but to sit and worry, but along with the worry comes pride. Pride that she is willing to do this alone. Pride that she is trying despite the fear I know she has, and pride that my daughter is braver than me.