Over the weekend my daughter, Web-princess, 14 now went on her first away from home trip. It was a weekend trip with venture crew.
They went to BayJammers in the UP of Michigan. Her weekend was spent doing a series of competitions: First Aid, Sawing, Lip Syncing, etc. Honestly, I forget everything she did and signed up for; I know her first night was rough, she had a bit of a hard time, but the crew she was with was nice and helpful.
She came home with a blister on her hand from the sawing, laughter over sharing some of the silliness that happened, bashful over dancing with a guy for the first time. (Which she described as awkward!) Oh, what a weekend it was.
She's unsure she will go again, but I'm glad she did it. She the night before leaving us up crying and scared about going. I know she's 14, but this is hard for her. She is my bashful, shy child. She's reserved, rather be the on looker, not the center of attention. She is my I rather be home -- child. She has always been this way -- even the early years when she was in Public School this didn't changed about her -- Heck, I remember the teacher calling me one day because she was bashful -- this was her.
Homeschooling didn't make her this way; homeschooling has allowed her to try things on her terms and when she was ready. Even if it was hard; even if she was doubtful, crying, it was still on her terms. She is the one that came to us and asked to do venture crew this year. She is the one that came to us and told us she wants to go to BayJammers. As it approached she got scared about going, but I would have gladly told her she didn't have to go if her anxiety tipped over the edge.
Thursday night I spent the night cuddling with her and calming her. Friday morning she was still on edge some, but considerably better. I would have told her she had the option to stay home if she was as bad as she was Thursday night. She wasn't - so I just reassured her as needed and when the time came she was okay. The first night, she told us when she got back, was rough, but over all she had an okay time.
The adults that went made a point to talk to my husband and I after they got back and shared that she did well, she fit in well with the rest of the group, and that if you didn't know any better you wouldn't have known this was her first time away from home and that she had anxiety about going, etc.
See -- letting her do it on her terms, when she was ready, even though she was scared, has helped her over the years. I'm not sure (public) school or any school for that matter would have been good for her all this time. She would have done it, but I know that over the years the anxiety would have grown and perhaps manifest itself into some horrid thing.
I'm very proud of my teenager and that she went and had a good weekend.
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