I try, I mean, I really, really do. I parent really thoughtfully, I put a lot of effort into it. I read the books, I carefully consider my decisions re: the kids. Everything from where they sleep, to where they go to school, how many after school activities to enroll them in. I have my own little philosophies, I believe in nursing on demand, extended nursing into toddlerhood. I co-sleep, don't mind artificial flavors or colors, I think buying organic is not necessary. I believe in child led weaning, child led potty training and I really think that kids should not start formal preschool until possibly the year before kindergarten, and even then, only if the kid wants to go. I believe in free range parenting, I don't think it's my job to entertain or amuse my kids, I try and give them as much freedom as I can. I want them to grow up to be bold and confident and able to take care of themselves.
So, in that spirit, I shipped my daughter off for a week camping. She's with my extended family - but not with me or Marc. Last year, she went for part of the week, and loved it, so I thought this week would be fine. But it wasn't. I dropped her off Saturday morning, and she called Sunday night crying to come home. Same thing Monday night and when she called this morning crying, I just gave up and sent Marc up to get her. She was trying so hard, and I could hear it in her voice. She wanted so badly to be brave and stick it out, but really, she just missed me and wanted to be home.
Intellectually, I can totally see the point of making her stick it out. She's eight years old, she's with my family, she's safe and loved and should be able to relax and have fun without me up there. But bottom line, there are only so many sobbing voicemails I can hear, with her beautiful little voice trembling out "Mommy, I just miss you so much." I'm (well, Marc, really) rushing up to rescue her - and perhaps reinforcing a bunch of bad messages. Teaching her that her parents will always rush to save her, that she's only safe and secure when she's with us... but then again, the facts are that I can only handle a couple of days of knowing that she's up there, sad and missing me. She's only eight - she's got the rest of her life to learn self reliance and how to tough it out. For right now, we'll rescue her - because I miss her more than anything, and can't wait to snuggle her once she gets home :-)