Just Me and My Girl


A mother and daughter doing pottery together.My older daughter and I recently experienced a “first” for us. We spent the weekend away without my husband and younger daughter. When this trip with the Girl Scouts came up, it didn’t look like we could go. Scheduling issues would prevent us from being available the weekend in question, and I didn’t push too hard about it. I didn’t know how half of my family would feel being left behind. But as the date of the trip crept up and our schedules freed up, I started to second guess myself.

I saw this weekend as a huge bonding moment for not only my girl and her troop but also for us. And so, with a few arrangements to be made, we went. And I’m happy we did.

My older daughter was an only child for the first three years and nine months of her life. She was (and is) my little best friend, and I took her everywhere with me. I loved having a tiny plus one, even if it was just a trip to the grocery store.

Then her sister showed up in dramatic fashion, and suddenly I realized that having a second kid in tow is like having a dozen more. Perhaps not everyone feels this way, but two kids felt a lot more crowded than one, and adventures out alone with my oldest became few and far between.

We’re a tight little “core four” in my house and enjoy being together. We don’t rely on babysitters often; we’re usually all together, whatever the weekend adventures may bring.

But as my girls are getting older, it’s hard to ignore their changing needs and wants, their need to be heard and to have time and space with me.

This Girl Scout weekend away felt like a really good time to solidly connect with my older daughter, who is on the precipice of middle school. There’s also a secret selfish reason for this need for alone time. I want to see her as the person she’s becoming, and sometimes that falls to the wayside while I’m trying to give equal opportunity to her sister, who sometimes needs a little more help and guidance through life.

My older daughter is her sister’s voice, advocate, and protector, but she needed a little time to be front and center in my world. And so, we took the trip. And wow, did we need it.

I remember someone once asking about my favorite vacations. One of them was when I was in my twenties, and my mom and I did a trip to Disney, just the two of us. It was my favorite because it was all about me, what I wanted, and what I needed. My sister hadn’t joined us, so my mom asked me what I wanted to do each day, and it was magical.

As you age, you make space in your world for friends, family, and work. It’s a rare occasion when everything is all about what you need and want.

And though this trip was on a much smaller scale, that’s the exact experience I wanted for my daughter. Each day, I told her we’d do whatever she wanted. And truthfully, the silence of a few days without her little sister or dad gave her full access to me at all hours of the day, and I could see how much we both needed it. There are no distractions, just the two of us (and a lot of Girl Scouts).

And now that we’re home, we have these memories and inside jokes to play back together in our minds.

I have no doubt this will be the first of many one on one adventures I do with each of my girls. I want them to have that uninterrupted access to me, so they know they’ll always have my attention when needed.

It was a perfect three days, and I can’t wait to do it again!


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