Monthly Musing – May 2022 – Moving on
My Dad always used to joke that I had never really left home because I had left things in the garage that I never quite got around to picking up.
There was certainly truth in that (although I don’t think that he really minded his garage being a free storage facility) – partly because I had nowhere to put them in my own house, or no particular use for them at the time (but that didn’t mean I wanted to throw them away), or maybe it was because deep down, I still wanted to keep a part of me connected to the house I grew up in.
This week, I’ve been having similar conversations with my girls. Big daughter is getting ready to move out, to find her own place and continue to build her own life as an adult. We’ve known this has been coming for several years and there’s been the month in Peru with World Challenge and living away from home at university to get us ready for this day, but it stills feels like a huge moment and big daughter is torn between wanting to go and wanting to stay.
“We’re not going anywhere,” I told her. “If you need to, you can always come home.” It’s what my parents said to me, and just knowing that made it easier for me to leave when the time came.
I suspect with big daughter there’s going to be a bit more left here than a few things in the garage, but perhaps we both need that for now. Not so small daughter will miss her very much, but we’ve spent a few hours this week filling out forms for international Guide camp applications so she is already starting to stretch her wings, ready to fly.
Japan, Madagascar, Canada … the choices are amazing and we know that she will have an incredible time if she gets through the selection process, and of course, being not so small daughter, she has chosen to apply for all of them. The world is a big place and she has big plans. Mid-GCSEs, she’s already looking at universities and still has her sights set on a life in Japan.
This is when we know we’ve done something right, isn’t it? When our girls are growing up into the strong, confident, independent young women that we always hoped they would be, eager to go out into the world and make their mark. As parents, we all hope that our children will grow up to fulfil whatever ambitions they have, whether travelling the world or staying closer to home, and as the exam days tick on, we are all one step closer to helping them prepare for whatever comes next. It’s not easy, though. Like big daughter, I am torn between wanting her to go and wanting her to stay, even whilst knowing that staying is not the best option for her.
Maybe the answer really is providing a free storage facility that we can grumble about but never insist on emptying. I’d better get on with clearing a space in the garage for her box of things.