Elli left tonight to go camping with another family for 5 days. This is the first time she's been away from home for more than a sleepover.
She's camping with friends in Oregon at a campground seven hours away.
It all sounded fine when they invited her two months ago. But now I'm not so sure.
I'm not sure I'm ready.
I'm going to miss her hugs and smiles. She's my little buddy.
I started thinking of all the things that could go wrong. The "what ifs" flooded my head.
"Mom, this is going to be so fun!" she squealed, as we loaded the car.
What if she gets lost?
"Mom, we're going to a famous spot to collect agate rocks. Did you pack the bags for the rocks?" She asked, sounding mature and excited.
What if she needs me and I'm not there?
What if there are bears?
What if she gets a bad bug bite?
"Mom, how much candy can I eat each day?" she asked in all seriousness.
Clearly, she was not worried about bears.
"What about cereal. Did you pack cereal? Mom?" she asked, then started digging through the snack bag. "Where's the candy?"
I finished putting everything in the car and wondered how many of her things will be lost and won't be coming home. She's a little carefree with her stuff. I hope she doesn't lose her tennis shoes.
"Mom, thanks for packing my bags and buying all the snacks. You're the best mom ever." she said smiling sweetly.
Then she raced around the car and gave me the biggest hug ever.
"I love you, mommy." she said, her big brown eyes locked on mine.
"I'll call you every night. Unless I forget." she said smiling.
"I love you. Have fun, and be safe." I whispered, hugging her one last time.
And she was off.