Sorry I’ve been missing in action the last few days. It has been a bundle of nervous, exciting and emotional moments. My daughter departed on Thursday for the trip of a lifetime, the 100th Anniversary of Vimy Ridge. She is part of group of students from her school as well as thousands of students from across Canada venturing to France for this very important historical event. One hundred years ago Canadian troops battled at Vimy Ridge and earned a reputation as formidable and effective troops. The battle was won at a great cost to Canadians with over 100000 soldiers killed and wounded. The French government gave Vimy Ridge and land surrounding it to Canada as a monument and thanks for the great sacrifices Canada gave to free France during the First World War.
As part of their tour, students will be witness to a ceremony on Sunday April 9th to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Vimy Ridge in which many dignitaries will be present including Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, members of the royal family and the French Prime Minister.
Also part of the trip is a visit to Juno Beach, then on to Paris and London before returning home on Easter Monday.
My husband and I are very happy and excited to be able to gift our daughter with such an experience but I’m naturally anxious and nervous too. This is the first time she’s ever been so far away without us. I know she’s in good hands but as a mother I imagine her getting lost or hurt without me close by to protect her. I miss her presence in the house and can only imagine how I’ll feel when in only two short years she’ll be off to university.
Children grow up very fast. People tell you that when they are small but at the time you’re trying to survive the teething, sleepless nights, the terrible twos, sending them off to school for the first time, helping them understand friendships and homework. Then all of sudden your child is too old to want to play with you and you realize your baby has become a young woman or man.
I only have the one child and her growing up and becoming someone independent of me has been difficult for me emotionally. I often want to turn back time and be on the floor playing Barbies again. At the same time, I look at her with great pride for she is someone who is independent, confident, smart, strong and beautiful. I enjoy our conversations and she always knows how to make me laugh. She is a joy!
So I must learn to let go, as hard as it may be. I have to trust she knows how to take care of herself and will be alright no matter how far from me she ventures. I am Pretty, Plus and Proud of this lovely person I brought in to this world and nurtured. My wish for her is that her dreams, hopes and aspirations take her as far as the stars and that God blesses her along the way, keeping her healthy, happy and safe.
The group of students from All Saints Catholic Secondary School (my daughter is hidden in the back left) at the school, prior to departure for the airport.
Today’s itinerary included a tour of a windmill and a cheese and clog factory. Here, the students pose as a group in front of the windmill.