Thoughts From A Study Abroad Mom
After a year of preparation and planning, my baby girl has achieved a goal she made two years ago. Miss Gabrielle departed for London, England to spend a semester abroad at Richmond, the American International University in London. What an amazing experience she is going to have. While I am so proud and excited for her, I feel like a piece of me is missing. There is such a mix of raw emotions flowing through me right now. Dropping her off at college in Boston was hard, but this is so much more.
Maybe because there is an ocean between us.
Maybe because if she needs help, I am practically helpless being so far away.
Maybe because my little girl is becoming a confident young woman ready to take on the world.
Maybe just because I am going to miss her.
It’s bittersweet. If you would have told me five years ago that Gabrielle was going to spend a semester studying abroad, I would have said no way. Not Gabby, my quiet, artistic, studious, and reserved child. Boy was I wrong. What I failed to see was her underlying confidence and determination. My husband and I realized these traits when she decided to attend college in Boston, a five-hour drive from our home.
I know hindsight is 20/20 but this phase in life often has me thinking of both my kids when they were young because they are not babies anymore. At 19 and 15, I miss those days of being needed more by my kids. Growing up is just a part of life, but sometimes I wish they would both stay young. I often wish we could have done more, seen more, played more. Parenting is challenging and rewarding at the same time. And, as parents, we never stop worrying about our children no matter what their age. That’s just how life works.
Sending Gabby off to a foreign country is one of the hardest things I have done as a parent. But still, it’s part of the parenting process. She is excited, nervous and ready to spread her wings and fly. To fully immerse yourself in a foreign culture and learn about its history is pretty cool. I can’t wait to live this experience through her eyes, her stories and photos over the next four months.
Adventure is out there. Soak it all in, cherish every second and most importantly, be safe baby girl.