Today my 6-year-old daughter had her second day of summer day camp, and her first field trip by bus to a swimming pool.
It was her very first bus ride ever, and the first time she’s gone swimming without my husband or me present. Naturally, I have been a little uneasy all day long. My husband and I were assured and reassured that all would be fine. This day camp has been around for 30 years, is well-regarded, and was highly recommended to us by several friends.
In response to our many questions and our obvious nervousness, they explained all the safety precautions they take. Their system is solid and includes swimming lessons (all the camp counselors are certified swimming instructors), testing swimming skills and grouping students according to their ability (and giving them different colored wrist bands to designate their ability), and having all children who are designated as non-swimmers (by their parents) wear a swim vest.
So, with all the precautions in place (I made sure to claim her as a “non-swimmer,” even though she’s a swimmer in training), questions satisfyingly answered, a complete briefing with my daughter about what to do and not to do, and some pep talking to myself from myself, I had to step away and let go just a little bit.
I kissed her and hugged her extra hard. I told her I love her, and said goodbye. And then I left. And then I worried all throughout the day.
It’s not that I’m paranoid. It’s just that I love her so much. It’s just that I’m a parent, and I’ve found that when you’re a parent, worrying is just something you’re going to do. You’re going to love them, want the best for them, and do everything you can to make sure they’re safe. And when their safety is out of your hands, you’re going to worry.
They may never know that you worried and prayed for them all day. That’s a good thing. Their job in summer day camp is to have fun.
So, another day, another milestone met. So many more to come. Sure, I’ll worry about my baby for the rest of my life. And, I’ll let go a little bit more and a little bit more … but never completely.