I had some lovely images of green sprouting trees and flowers that I had originally thought I would use for this challenge, but upon ongoing reflection of my most recent trip, I decided to change direction.
As many of you know, I recently travelled with 41 middle school students to Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec City over Easter break. What you don’t know is that one of the students was my daughter. I was so excited to have her be part of this adventure, but I also knew I would have to work really hard at balancing my two roles of teacher and mom. This was her trip just as much as it was mine and I wanted her to see these three beautiful cities through her own eyes and experiences without me hovering. Bottom line, I had to allow her room to grow.
For the first half of the trip, I let her be. I played the role of teacher as she sat as far away as possible and pretty much ignored me. I will admit that hurt a little, but I also understood the importance of her experiencing the independence of travel. I purposefully stepped back, and wouldn’t you know it she did not lose her passport, handled the turbulence on the flight without me, kept track of her belongings (for the most part), learned the lesson of dressing for the weather, giggled with her friends and solved small social tiffs on her own. In short, she was amazing and made me proud every day!
On the second half of the trip she began to have a little more contact with her old mom. My heart sang as this transition occurred in small steps as she willingly took pictures with me, gushed out stories of her adventures and was even there to hold my hand as I crossed the bridge over the Montmorency Falls.
One of the other adults told me of a conversation she had with my girl toward the end of our journey. She had asked her what her favourite part of the trip was. My girl responded, “Seeing all of these great places and having this special time with my mom.” And well, as a mom you just can’t ask for more then that!
I love the cheeky smile in the above photo. More often than not, this was the smile I would get from her when I tried to take a photo of her. This was her quiet way of being a ham and also telling me to back off.
Every Canadian should see our Parliament buildings. I’m so glad I was able to take my daughter there as such a young age. It is my hope that this trip will give her a greater appreciation for our county’s history and what it means to be Canadian.
I LOVE this photo. Not only did she let me take one with my camera, but she also asked if she could take one with hers too!
My girl just being herself!
I came flying off of this bridge after trying to navigate across it. My girl saw me zip past her and she turned around and came after me to make sure I was okay. We shifted roles for a little bit and she became the nurturer. She said we had to take this photo together to celebrate that I had made it across the bridge!
She held my hand the whole way back across the bridge! She didn’t let me run and reassured me until we were all the way across! I am so blessed to have such a beautiful and caring daughter.
We both learned a little something more about each other on this journey. She got to see me in moments of both strength and weakness and I got to witness that amazing young women she is growing into.