My daughter left a week and a half ago for a two-week, Hawaii adventure by her sixteen-year-old self. She got on an airplane by her self for the first time. She instantly sent us a selfie where she looked terrified. And then immediately another selfie where she was smiling. It was classic. My husband and I just laughed & knew she would be okay. It was part of her journey. She had to be brave, all on her own.
“You will never regret being brave.”
Over a year ago she approached me and my husband and expressed her interest in doing an adventure camp where she could go somewhere and help sea turtles. She had done some research and expressed she would like to go to Greece.
My first response, “Not Greece! That is too far & you are not even sixteen!” I loved her excitement and passion to pursue something she cares about, so we told her we could do some research and see if we could find something a little closer to home & not so foreign.
As her Mom there were parts of me that worried, but how do you dim any kind of spark that is ignited by a passion bigger than anything. As parents we are here to nurture, guide, and hopefully inspire the spark that lies within these children we have been gifted to grow and love. Who are we to take away dreams, to kill the passion and thrill of an adventure, to limit them in becoming who they are meant to become.
My daughter watched the movie, “Born to be Wild” when she was eight and fell in love with Orangutans in Borneo. She instantly pulled out her stuffed animals, made book marks & did an animal sale in our front yard to make money for the World Wildlife Fund. That was the beginning. She has had a love of animals ever since. When she was fourteen she began volunteering at our local aquarium & had a sweet eye to eye encounter with a sea turtle & since that moment wanted to learn and do more for them. She just got a job as an educator at the aquarium & has loved every minute.
There is nothing better than seeing someone you love and adore thrive! Especially as a parent. I know as my daughter grows and spreads her wings, she will need less and less of me, but as her mother, I invite her to fly. Even though she will be able to fly, our bond is strong. I hope she will grow strong wings that will take her wherever the world needs her. I cannot be selfish with such an incredible person who was meant to do amazing things for this world. Who are we as adults, as parents to limit their experiences because of our own fears.
I have had so many family members and friends who have commented on how scary the very thought of allowing their child to go on such a trip. I even had one of my sisters comment on how she could be brainwashed on some island somewhere. Everyone has their opinions, but hopefully, we can all remember this quote…
As we see our children grow we begin to see their strengths, their challenges, their needs, who they are striving to become. We need to remember that they came to this world with their own sets of life-given qualities that will serve the world in one way or another. As parents, we need to help ignite the sparks within them, help give them the opportunities to find their deeper light, their purpose, and to nurture what they need for their life. Our children are gifts to our life. They will inspire, challenge and help us grow. We are all here to help one another to be our best, to live fully, to seek dreams, to follow the guidance…the spark…the light we have within. That light will lead us to our purpose and that will allow us to be a greater gift to the world.
In the end, my daughter will be gone for fourteen days & during that time we have only been able to talk to her for ten minutes. That has been the toughest part for me. I want to hear and see everything. I want to experience it all through her eyes. I can’t wait to hear all about it. But, I will tell you this…those ten minutes that my husband and I talked to her, she was lit up by the whole experience. Her passion was felt from thousands of miles away. She was right where she needed and wanted to be and you could tell by the enthusiasm in her voice. Oh, the joy you feel when your children are happy.
I love this. I would rather be a mother that helps instill “I can and I will” than the alternatives. smile. smile. Help them feel like they can and will.
“I believe that children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way. Show them all the beauty they possess inside.” -Whitney Houston
That is a beautiful idea.
May we all seek to live, to love, and to be brave.
Peace to you. -H