Carol Shwanda chronicles her blended family's lives and experiences offering hope, guidance, wisdom, inspiration and humor to anyone who is in or about to enter into a blended family.
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Eva leaves for France in a few weeks and will be gone most of the summer. She will be traveling with her friend, Mary, and they will be staying with Mary’s older sister, Ruby in a small town outside of Paris.
Sometimes I wonder if I am insane to allow my just turned 16-year-old daughter to travel to Europe, but I realize that I cannot hold my daughter back because ever since she was little, Eva has always had wanderlust. Recently I came across an essay she wrote in middle school about her desire to see the world when she grows up. She is living true to her dream. Good for her.
Eva is an adventurer who has always asserted her independence. When she was in first grade she insisted on riding her bike to school. Alone. I let her. Little did she know I followed her, running and hiding behind bushes to make sure she got to school safely. I won’t be able to do that this summer. I just have to have faith that all of the self-defense classes I made her take won’t ever come in handy.
As my children reach adulthood, I have come to accept that there is no holding them back. It helps that the older kids have, in some way, blazed trail and have been positive role models. Ruby was a foreign exchange student in France her senior year in high school and upon graduation, decided to stay in France to attend college, which is what Eva hopes to do. Ruby has been her mentor and inspiration. Eva will graduate from high school a year early and plans to apply to Rotary to study abroad in a Spanish speaking country. She is unsure where she intends to attend college, but I will not be surprised if she ends up in Europe. And to think my mother wept when I moved from New Jersey to California. Thank heavens for email and Skype.