Today my almost 12 year old daughter left for a weekend trip without a family member in attendance. She is going to the Maryland Rainbow Girl Grand Assembly with 3 girls from her Rainbow Assembly. She was terribly excited and ready to be a part of the group. She, who we affectionately call 'GothGirl' needed to pack only light colored skirts, blouses and dresses - or what we call Rainbow-appropriate clothes- for the weekend. We spent ALL DAY last Saturday shopping for the proper attire and although it was not without it's minor battles, it was a fun and enlightening day. The best part was when her father saw her wearing the dress she chose for the first time. He wanted to know if bodysnatchers had taken his daughter... she laughed but was really happy that her Dad was so obviously thrilled with how she looked. Okay, realistically we know the black clothing and hair over one eye and blank stares will return, but he definately enjoyed seeing another side of her.
So off she went with her Rainbow friends for a fun-filled weekend and here I sit wondering if she will be ok alone- I mean without a family member there. I am sure she is less affected by this step toward her independence than I am, and I guess that is what bothers me most. But then I guess that is also what makes me positive that she will do well. The fact that she is unafraid to be off on a Grand Adventure and secure in the knowledge that in an emergency her family will be right there lets me know that maybe I haven't screwed up too badly raising her thus-far. If only I can keep it up through her high school years I think I will be okay... Her, I have no doubt about, me on the other hand... I can only hope I can keep letting go and giving her the chance to take these baby steps toward being her own person.