Wednesday, January 7, 2009

...all the years?

Max and I rang in the New Year in Atlanta with Kat, Gavin and their friends.

First, let me say that we had a dynamite time and really enjoyed meeting their friends.

Second, let me say that it was a world-altering experience to see my daughter and her fiance entertaining their friends in their own place (ok, roommates house, but where they are living).

As parents, we never really loose the image of our children as, well as children. How can we not. We were there when they took their first breadths, spoke their first words, took their first steps. We stayed up with them when they were sick, then later stayed up to make sure they got home safe. We were there for them, and with them, as they began to make their own way in the world - Kindergarten, high school, dating, and eventually moving out and leaving the nest.

And those images are burned into our souls, treasured, joyous, and lasting. But do we ever really think about what happens after they leave the nest?

Intellectually, I knew it would happen. It's what parents prepare their children to do; it's the way of things. But to actually see it is a different story. Now I know.

I have to close the book of childhood that I have lovingly held open and begin a new book, one for which there aren't any helpful guidelines, for the writing of it is no longer mine to guide. It is now in the hands of the small wonder who has grown up and grown into her own fabulous person. It is for her to forge while I lovingly look on, provide help when asked, and in it find new images to treasure.

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