This morning at 6 we sent our oldest daughter on her first out-of-town school trip. When she asked if she could go, it was a month or so ago. I had no doubt that allowing her to go would be good for her -- she would get the chance to make memories with her friends and have a good time. What mom wouldn't want that?


When it actually came time for her to leave, though, it was a different story. It took all the strength I had to not forbid her to go. The thought finally dawned on me in my sleepy condition that my little girl was going to a different state. I wouldn't be there to make sure she brushed her teeth, or went to bed on time, or paid attention when crossing the street. It’s not that I don’t trust the teachers that she’ll be with, but she’s my girl. We’ve been together for 12 years. Hanging out with her and watching Food Network is one of my favorite things to do. My life would definitely have a hole with her gone. Keep in mind, I'm experiencing this much agony over an overnight trip. I've told my husband that I'll have to be sedated when the kids leave for college.

Being a mom is sometimes about sacrificing your happiness for that of your child. All of the sacrifices I've made during the past 12 years have been more than worth it. And I would do it all over again and sacrifice more than I have to make sure my children are happy. Even though it doesn’t seem like it, letting them go out and experience new places and new things is what’s best for them. Having these experiences without mom around helps them broaden their horizons and develop new viewpoints. This concept of loving and letting go has been incredibly hard for me. I have to accept the fact that even though letting my children go out in the world is hard for me, it's ultimately what I would want for them. It's just a continuation of the tough decisions made for the best of the kids. So this evening I’ll watch Food Network alone, or maybe even with my husband. I will text my daughter way more than I probably should and act like I don’t mind that she’s gone. I’ll put up a brave front, even though it’s killing me to not be with her. When I pick her up tomorrow night, I’ll probably hug her an embarrassing amount of time, too. Then all will be back to normal until the next time she wants to leave.

On Sunday, if you're blessed to still have your mom, give her a big hug and thank her for all of the sacrifices. Thank her for letting you go. I'll be celebrating with the woman who gave so much of herself to me, and who continues to give to make sure I have the best life possible. Being a mom is tough work, but it is truly one of the most rewarding things I have ever done.