Monday, June 27, 2011

Getting What She Deserves and Growing Up

You know how you sometimes send your eleven year old daughter off on a bus full of people you don't know to Hungary for six days?

Yeah, I knew you'd understand when I told you what I did this morning.

Every year our elementary school sends the kids at the top of each class (who have straight A's or better) for a week-long trip pretty much for free. Evie's been working super hard this year to earn the right and she did it (she also won $125 in gift certificates from the mayor)! She's the only girl in her class eligible for the trip, so she had to arrange with girls (she barely knows) from other classes that she can hang with them for the week. But she's excited and I think she'll have a blast.

And all of this only a few months after I decided that we will be a "no sleepover" family. So, yeah. It is a bit of a weird situation, but after a ton of pondering, long conversations with Ev and some prayer, I feel quite good about it.

Then she'll come back home for a couple of weeks before getting on a plane by herself to cross the Atlantic and visit her cousins. My sister, Su, and brother-in-law (Tom) bought her a ticket and she's going to spend a MONTH with them. Away from us. Away from ME! How we will all survive (including my sister), I'm not sure. But I'm so excited for her.

I think this will be the Summer Evie Grew Up. I mean, she's already quite mature for her age, but after this, we'll pretty much consider her an adult, I think.

And mostly I really think she deserves to have all these experiences she's been dreaming of. I just need to figure out how to deserve my sister's generosity and bravery. (did I mention Evie's ELEVEN, and, while she's very helpful and sweet, smart and fun, she's also ELEVEN. The drama has definitely begun with her. But Su has a 12 year old daughter, so I think she has a clue what she's in for.)

I have a feeling Evie starting junior high this fall might not seem like such a huge step afterall.

9 comments:

Liz said...

Wow, Evie is growing up. What a fun trip she will have to visit her cousins. I am sure you WILL miss her a ton.

Erin said...

that is really awesome that Evie earned that trip! I am glad that you felt good about her going. It would be a tough to say goodbye for so long, but she will always remember those awesome experiences!

Annie-Savor This Moment said...

That sounds like such a wonderful opportunity for her! She's lucky you have the courage to let her try her wings.

We're a "no sleepover" family, too, but we make exceptions for cousins.

Kazzy said...

Wow, those really are big steps. I am sure she is totally prepared to handle these things, and you will get some time with just your boys. That will be fun!

Melanie Jacobson said...

I've been pondering this week on just how good travel is for the soul. What an awesome opportunity for her!

Laura said...

It's hard for me to believe Ewalina is that old, so it really impresses me that you're so okay with all this. Good for you, I think it will be good for her.
I know it may be hard to get, but this reminded me of a book I read called Kaleidoscope Season by Sharon Downing Jarvis. It's a kind of a coming of age story, set in the 40's or so, I think, of a girl who is "nearly 12" and the events of a Summer full of changes and traveling and new experiences in her life that help her to grow. Ok, I did a really bad job of explaining that, but it's a good book. I don't know how to do a link, but here's the amazon url:

http://www.amazon.com/Kaleidoscope-Season-Sharon-Downing-Jarvis/dp/0875795684/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1309473169&sr=1-1

Susan said...

We are so excited to have Ewie for a month! I am truly thankful you're giving us this special time! A chance to have my kids rub shoulders with the witty, intelligent, and kind Ewelina Pawlik is a treat indeed!

Lara said...

Yikes. My mom wanted to have Bria come visit her in Utah alone this summer but I wasn't cool with that. Of course, then my mom bought us both tickets, which was my ulterior motive. :) No, really, I wasn't sure about the whole thing. She's not quite 11 yet, but she is very mature.

It's so hard to let go! And yes, I do think this will be the summer that Evie grew up, and while it will be so hard for you in many ways I think it will also be wonderful.

And of course, I'm telling you that because I really need to hear it myself....

Lisa said...

Congratulations on your bravery to be able to let her have these growing experiences! Being a military family, the topic of letting the kids travel unaccompanied has loosely come up, and I cringe at the thought. But I also worry about being a helicopter parent and raising kids that can't be independent. What a dilemma to figure out just when is the right time to let them spread their wings...of course some days I just wish I had somewhere for my 15 year old to fly!