She left last Friday.
Back to Chicago to meet up with a friend she's known since birth, and then off to a week of summer camp.
She hung with her pal's family all weekend, met up with a few other friends, and was then dropped off for a camp on Monday morning.
I have missed her deeply every day she's been gone.
And am also so proud of her.
I've not been shy about sharing that my daughter experienced major social anxiety for a season. Yes, it was years ago, but those experiences shaped her. We fought to get her effective help, and worked tirelessly to give her the skills she needed to overcome social obstacles. We were shocked that she even experienced them in the first place, for they seemed to show up at age 4 1/2 like a surprised house-guest who arrives unexpectedly and then stays for 3 years.
She came out of what we call "the glum" in 2nd grade, and then, we made the big move to Pittsburgh. This had the potential of cracking open the muck she had experienced years before. But, thankfully, the opposite occurred.
And since then, we've not seen that house-guest, or if they have made an appearance on the front porch, our visit has been a brief one, concluding with us politely showing them the back door.
Which brings us to this past week.
This is the first time she has been away for this long with anyone other than family.
I received only great reports from my girlfriend back in Chicago who hosted her. And there were no calls or emails from camp. So I can only assume the week went well.
I GET TO PICK HER UP!
I can not wait.
Did I cry last week when she first left? Yes. Did I have a dreadful week? No. Am I aching to hear every detail? You know it.
A first for her, but, an even bigger first for me.
Camp may be a new experience for the actual camper, but it was new for this Mom as well.
I think we both faired well!
Joline Pinto Atkins is a former actress who now uses the web as her world-wide stage and can also be founding writing at The Cuppa Jo, Fit With Jo, and is a contributor at Daily Fast Fuel. Joline is wife to one (phew - that's good to know) and mother of two amazing children, aged 10 and 6, who are both named after authors. Addicted to fitness, she sweats out any daily angst by running (not with sharp objects) and P90X'ing, and longs for good books, vats of coffee, and an endless supply of buffalo wings - which she will not share with you. So, please, do not ask.