Last night I did something that I have been preparing for for almost two decades. Two decades of hard, daily preparation full of mental agility, real life preparatory experiences, and praying that God’s grace would cover the holes. Last night, I helped my oldest daughter move out. I packed things into a truck, drove down to a new house and helped her unload pieces of her old world into the presence of her new world. Last night I saw my baby girl become an adult.
I know that I have done the best that I could to prepare her for a world that is impossible to prepare for, and I know that she has done everything that she could to become a person that can thrive in that world. We have collectively worked really hard to train for that day. I know that she is ready enough and I couldn’t be more proud of the incredible opportunities that await her. She’s going to thrive.
As I was laying in bed I began to think about parenthood. About how hard we focus and strain to prepare for that moment. To prepare for the time when we help them get out into the world. We spend so long in intense focus that it seems almost surreal when in a matter of an hour we had her packed up, unpacked, and moved in. It’s the reality that parenthood is a phase. It’s not that it’s over because…it’s never over, but the preparation of intense focus has evolved into a softer focus of guiding and mentoring.
I’m always going to be her mom, always going to be available for love, support, occasionally for gas money, for home cooked meals, for groceries, and always a swift kick in the butt when things are going poorly, but starting today…what happens in her life is simply up to her. I can’t make her decisions, can’t make her be safe, and I can’t keep her healthy, but what I vow to do is to be a sounding board, a safe place, and a source of unconditional love.
Today I pray that my sweet girl begins to embrace her new life with zest, with courage and with unyielding faith. I pray that she continues to strive to be the person that God created her to be, and that I have the ability to support her in just the right way. I pray that as she begins down her path, that God will continue to guide me down mine. Today is a new day.