Kids grow up. When they do… they eventually leave.Today was “my” day to discover what that feels like.
My brain knows this is “supposed” to happen. Adult Children are meant to mature and grow and leave the safety of their home and family and go – grow and become. The fear of the unknown, the pressure for her to figure out each life detail and the anxiety of discovering if they are old enough now to know better… it must be a common feeling for all parents… but when it hits you for the first time, it’s anything but familiar.
I still remember myself at 20 and how I wanted to be independent and yet… much of the source of my strength was attached to my family. If they believed in me… than I could too.
I hope my daughter feels that secure today… Because her Mother and I DO believe in her.
It’s clear from her first years… our oldest daughter was meant to explore, to ingest different cultures and ideas and to learn ! She always begged to go for “rides” with me, or to travel whenever I had a business meeting out-of-state. When I introduced her to the concept of a “road-trip” she was lost to it’s allure forever.
Our first real RoadTrip was in the spring of 2006 and we drove to the Grand Canyon, Mesa Verde, Telluride and Durango Colorado. We hiked and ate junk food and read historical pamphlets. We rode snowmobiles and explored little western cowboy towns and sang along to Hillary Duff for a week. We drove with unfolded maps all over the southwest in our mini-van and we had a ball. By the time she was a pre-teen… she was hooked on discovering!
As a 16-year-old we took her to Boston MA for a surprise weekend birthday treat. She had us drive the coastline in the dead of winter to find the best Chowder and to sample some Maine fresh lobster. We wandered for a weekend, back through New Hampshire and Vermont to see the sights and to finally sled on dreamy, snowy, Norman Rockwell painted New England hillside. Her thirst to discover and see and experience had become stronger… her little light was becoming a brilliant flame.
By the time she graduated High School… she had the west coast firmly on her radar and we did an epic week-long RoadTrip from Seattle to San Francisco and back by car to celebrate. Hwy 1 and the Redwoods, Yosemite and the high desert ghost towns of the Sierra Nevada…she Loved them all.Wanderlust had her firmly in its grip.
As a sophomore in College, she’s taking her love to explore to a new level… international studies. Costa Rica here she comes. I’ve no doubt she’ll be climbing volcanoes and hiking in their epic rain-forests before this blog gets fully shared. Her adventures will continue as her love for life still grows.
It’s clear to us as her parents… she’s ready to fly.
Time to leave the nest and go on her own. God has a secure position in her heart and as a grown woman, she has a life to go lead. I’ve no doubt that in doing so… lives will be changed and a world explored. God has put that in her blood and now it’s time for her to find out for herself all the things I could only hint to her of.
I’m more than excited for her… and a little sad. Things are as they should be.
The next chapter is hers to write.
Parents… as a 44-year-old… it’s painfully clear to me. Our time is short, and the days fade fast from childhood to maturity. The lessons of life are so precious for us to truly share with each of our amazing kids.
I believe the greatest parenting gift of all is to help our teen kids marry their faith with the unique passions God has given them and then to urge them to take the jump of trusting God with their hearts and dreams for a lifetime.
Peace and Grace from a slightly proud papa.
PS – She’s already out and exploring…