“Do we really have to do this”
“Are you crying”
“Yes, I am”
“I just couldn’t hold back the tears as I watched her being whisked away by the flight attendant with tears trickling down her gentle face”
The past few days counting down to resumption hadn’t been easy. As in, Apinke would wake up in the morning and the first thing she’ll do is begin to cry… The first time it had happened, I tried all I could to comfort and assure her that all would be ok… after all, the session fees had been paid for and even if there was going to be a rethink about her attending a boarding school, it had to be at the conclusion of the current session.
As I drove out of the airport that early Sunday morning, I began to pray fervently that God infuses His love in the hearts of men towards Apinke. I prayed she found favour and peace and all the wherewithal to adjust to the next three months of school life.
Unsure of what my feelings would hold entering into the silence of my home without the joy and laughter of Apinke, I decided to ring up a friend and cool off the tension with some quality girly time.
We chatted and caught up on past times as we jointly fixed breakfast. After about an hour, I got to speak with Apinke as she had landed safely. The eleven-year-old I left amidst tears sounded full of positive vibes an energy! What has changed in barely 60mins?? Mind you, this was her very first time of flying alone as an unaccompanied minor.
“Mom, I enjoyed the flight! The air hostessws were very kind and they sat me close to a woman who was so friendly and nice! She asked where my mom was and I said Abuja. And my dad? I said Lagos. So where is your school? Ibadan, I responded and she laughed like…your family seems to be all over the place! She gave me her tab and said I could play any game I wanted on it (hey, if this was mom, the option would have been which book to read?!). When I started falling asleep, she leaned me on her shoulder and said I should feel more comfortable that way…”
Really?! Here I was, all freaky that I had thrown my eleven-year-old into the wilderness… Then, I remembered the story of Prophet Musa (Moses) as told in the two most famous religious books… Then it dawned on me that God had indeed responded to my supplication as He always did and indeed, one of the best things we can do as parents is to permit our children avenues to gain independence and responsibility while trusting and letting God play His role.
Fast forward to the school’s liaison office where the school bus would pick the students up for their outbound trip to school in Ibadan, my spouse and I were on the phone and he was like, “Are you sure about all those horrid moments you said you had trying to convince Apinke to embrace the life in a boarding school? She’s so excited and all over the place! Obviously delighted to see her friends! She’s hardly noticing me and I am just waiting here for the school bus to take off before I set out”.
Hmm… good to know that! You know, I had been dead worried that she was out for a miserable time! So much that I rang my mom and almost concluded that this was the last session in boarding school as the experience was as difficult for me on this particular child as it was for the child herself!
So it’s a week later and I had the chance to speak to Apinke at school as we get that opportunity every weekend. I had been anxious to know how she was settling in school all week. The phone conversation was as pleasant as her first experience out of home to a boarding school! She was ‘living the life’ and all the anxiety she had seemed to have somewhat dissipated. Again, it dawned on me the power of letting go and letting God while preparing our children for their future…
What anxiety are you experiencing as regards your child’s emotion and what she is saying to you? What learnings do you intend for her based on your decision? Remember, no pain, no gain. Let go and let God!
Happy Mother’s Day
From Suruurah Ogunfemi