We Have A Competent Almost AdultPosted: May 13, 2016
When Russ and I learned we needed to go to South Carolina overnight for a funeral Carter asked us if she could stay home alone. Not exactly alone, home with Shay Shay. We decided that she was trustworthy enough to handle staying home one night alone, so we let her do it.
Carter already drives herself to and from school, she cares for young children, can handle large animals and can navigate her way alone on a foreign city’s subway system. Why couldn’t she stay home in the only house she has ever lived in?
After the funeral I received a text of the steak, mashed potato and okra dinner Carter had bought and cooked for herself. The words read, “I am a competent adult.” When I faced time with her before bed she was happy and loving having the house all to herself. I thought about how much I love to be alone in my own house and understood the fun for her.
In the morning she texted me about feeding and waking Shay before going off to school. “Thanks. I really liked being on my own for a while. It motivated me.” How wonderful I thought. Practice adulthood is something I think is so helpful. For me, practice letting go was also good. I had no doubt she could care for herself and Shay, but I was pleasantly surprised by how clean everything was when I got home.
Small doses of responsibility and adulthood doled out over the next year seem like the plan I should go with. It seems like just yesterday that Carter would not sleep away from home. Thanks to Hannah, who made it her mission to get Carter to feel comfortable sleeping over with her friend Campbell when they were six. Now Carter looks forward to her six weeks away from home during the summer. All practice for the day she goes and makes her own home somewhere else. Now I need to practice not missing her.