Across the Board Parenting Issue: Letting Go

So here I am today, all day, a nervous wreck. I don’t mean a little nervous, I mean a sick to my stomach anxious nervous. Em left with her class today to go on a 3 day 2 night (yes, overnight) camping trip (in cabins). It’s with the school and I’m just nervous for her. And before y’all say it… I know. She’s probably going to be fine.

This year hasn’t been smooth for Em in social circles. She struggles so much with connecting with kids her age. Girls in general struggle at this age, and I’ve seen her heart break over being misunderstood more times that I’d like to count this year. 

The older kids get that she is “unique” and try to guide her through the social struggles. The younger kids don’t care about her “differentness” (in fact I think that draws them to her) and they just treat her as they would friends their age.

Yet in a group of her peers, often she stands out. There was one girl that spent the night this weekend. We’ll call her A. A and Em were working on a project for school and they are friends in school too. Em fell asleep taking Christian to work and A and Matt and I were talking. She’d read Em’s book earlier in the day and she had LOTS of questions. Not questions of judgment. But rather questions that opened up a dialog of Em and autism and autism in general.

I see A as one of those girls who will guide Em when she can. Em asked them to put A in her room at camp. They won’t know until they get there who their High School Junior counselor is and who is in their room. I don’t even know. 

So, here I sit hoping she makes it the three days. Here, I sit, wondering if she is going to have fun, become overwhelmed, be able to apply coping skills, function, meltdown, or run. Here, I sit, trying to distract myself knowing that she’ll probably have an amazing time and want to do it all over again.

I just have to have some faith and know it’s all out of my hands and see if I get updates as the week goes on.

Ok. Let’s be honest. This is normal. I know that. EVERY mom goes through this when their kids go away. I *KNOW* that. I also *know* in my brain, she’s probably alright. She’s got this. We prepared and talked and worked towards this. I *KNOW* this.

So why is it when I look around I think of all the things that could go wrong? All the coping skills she *can’t* use because of the “rules”. All the night time routines that aren’t there (she sleeps with an audio book and HAS to and has since she was a baby). All the things she usually needs that she doesn’t have. (She refused to take the weighted blankets as they are too “babyish” looking and no stuffed animal because she and I both forgot it).

I know in my heart she will survive this. I’m pretty sure she’ll even be in 1 piece. I guess. It’s just one of those things that doesn’t matter whether they are on the spectrum or not. Just sometimes it makes it harder to let go. I know she’s going to fly. Just wishing I could catch her if she falls. I guess, it’s time for me to let go and see what she will do. It’s not about can or can’t this time. It’s will or won’t.

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