Change is inevitable, constant, and just about the surest thing there is. We all know it, but it doesn’t make this truth any easier to brave. Some of us have an easier time with change, accepting it as it comes, while others need a moment to resist, analyze and finally absorb the process. I happen to be the latter.
Some of the biggest changes in my life have been met with aches, pains and surely resistance. Whether it was leaving home at 18 to navigate the jungles of Los Angeles, or getting married at 22 and having children immediately thereafter, I never entered any new horizon boldly or confidently. Actually,I kinda struggled through until it became comfortable.
Currently, I’m in the middle of another biggie. We just shipped our first daughter off to college. She is the first of our four children to leave the nest and move away from our tightly knit family.
I knew this day would eventually come, but it all felt abstract and foreign. All of a sudden it came very quickly, and I was hugging her goodbye. Since I was a baby myself when I began my family, watching her pack up felt like a movie I was watching of someone else’s life. So many memories kept flashing through my minds eye, and I felt as if I would wake up and my kids would still be babies, scattered around me. Well, this is no dream, my little girls room is empty, the house is without her and everything that was is changed. Of course, I’m thrilled for her and proud beyond words. What she has achieved and is doing is all I could wish for, but for me, it’s tough, it aches and it’s uncomfortable.
When my husband and I returned home from moving her into her dorm room, carrying this new change within our hearts, we found that our sweet daughter, Jordyn had left us each letters by our beds. She also wrote one that she requested we read together. Her expressions of love, gratitude, courage and tenderness brought us both to tears, but also settled us into an overwhelming feeling of peace. We recognized that we didn’t drop off our baby to college, we dropped off a smart, capable young woman who is ready to begin a life that is all hers. What is most remarkable is that it was our daughter that eased the struggle that this change brought to my husband and I, by sharing so much love, compassion and wisdom. She reminded us of how very ready she is to be independent.
On a very personal note, the greatest relief, was her sharing with us that she hopes to one day have a marriage and love like the one that her father and I have. She also assured us, that she will be just fine and that she is ready and embracing change.
Massive, giant exhale… Our little baby girl is settling us, her grown, seasoned, parents, reminding us of the goodness that we have worked so very hard to create and most of all keep afloat. Our journey has been riddled with errors, struggles, trials and tribulations, but love was always served and that is what she seems to remember most. Now she is reminding us too. The lessons seem to have come full circle. Sometimes our children parent us.
I guess it’s true that our babies aren’t really ours to keep. Nothing is actually. They, as all precious beings, are ours to love, nurture and help grow, and then to let go so that they can do the same.
I am grateful that our daughter reminded us of this truth.