If I am this fragile just dropping my sweet girl off at camp for a month, what kind of sloppy mess will I be when I have to leave her at college for a whole school year?!?
Today when we pulled into the swarming gaggle milling around the bunk house, I saw the tell-tale signs of my introverted daughter's nervous energy bubbling up… the beautiful smile, the southern charm, the easy laugh. She comes by these self-protective methods honestly. I am well-versed in fitting in quickly and easily to avoid the terrifying stab of awkward alienation. I know how to play the southern game and I play it instinctively.
I loathe this about myself. I have a hard time battling my own anxiety when it shows up in a crowd. I strive for authenticity above all else and yet, under pressure I cave to people-pleasing. I know it's a survival instinct. I know it's automatic. But I long to have the courage to be myself from minute one of all social gatherings.
After setting her stuff down and realizing she was starting to find a few familiar faces, I leaned in for a hug and spoke a truth that both made me beam and tear up at the same time, "It looks like you don't need me here anymore." She smiled back sheepishly and said quietly, "Nope."
I was proud and terrified. This is what is coming for us—a good launch, where I will everyday be so excited for the life she is running for herself and everyday struggle to believe that I gave her everything I could have for the journey ahead. As I felt the choke of grief grip my throat, I hugged her and said into her ear,
I love you.
Yourself is good enough.
And I know that's what I need to tell myself as well.