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Braeden Gratitude Photo

On Day 13, I am unbelievably grateful for my son, Braeden. Tomorrow he goes away to Outdoor Science School for four days, which is a 5th grade rite of passage in our area. I am so excited for and proud of him, it’s beyond words. He’s been looking forward to this event for literally years now. He’s bouncing off the walls, understandably.

To be honest, a part of me wants to throw up. We’ve been separated before, of course. Chris and I have gone on trips and left him with his grandparents. But that’s not really the same. He will be out of my sight and out of my hands for four long days, and that’s more than a little terrifying. I know he will grow as a result of his experiences there, and this makes me happy, and again proud. I would deny him none of that. But he’s always going to be my baby, so a part of me still wants to throw up.

Parenting is so hard. You try so hard to develop them into great human beings, but then you have to step back and let them become exactly who they are meant to be. Your power as a parent is tremendous, but ultimately has limited reach. At some point, it’s all up to them.

I wish Braeden an experience beyond his imagination. I know he is ready for this moment, this step on his path. I only hope I am.