A Birthday and a Broken Heart, Part 2
It is difficult to remember, but there was a time before children. Then poof -- those days were gone. Kids come into your world and things are never the same.
The dirty diaper years seem to go on forever, but then you move past them to other challenges. Kids seem to grow up so fast that you cannot believe it.
One day they are tiny and totally dependent upon you, then before you know it they think they rule the world the way most teenagers do.
My baby girl is moving away today and it hurts so bad I can barely stand it. No matter how much you prepare there is just no way to lessen the pain.
It is not like things are perfect, of course. She hit her stride the past few years and suddenly her parents became these old, stupid people who just could not understand. My friends who have gone through this have suggested that this is part of the master plan -- the young adults' need for independence combined with their abrasive behavior make the separation bearable. "Just wait," they tell me, "she'll understand things much better after she spends some time out on her own." That may be right, but it only takes the edge off the hurt.
A little distance I could handle, but moving 1,000 miles away just seems so far and excessive. I tried to raise my kids to think for themselves and become who they wanted to be. I just did not expect the separation to be this soon and this far away.
I know my daughter has no idea of the sacrifices that were made for her along the way. Do any of us? It took me years to realize and truly appreciate what my parents did for me. I guess I will have to hope that she at least remembers some of the fun times for now.
A whole new exciting world is opening up for her. She will be happy to be back near her boyfriend and will face the challenge of living in a totally new environment. While I am sad I am also so happy for her. I truly hope she will continue to become exactly who she wants to be.
My mom once told me some advice that was passed down to her from her mother. "Your children are not yours," she said. "They belong to God. Your job is to raise them as best you can."
Well, as imperfect as I may be, I have tried my best. I guess we cannot ask much more of ourselves. But I hope that she does remember some things.
I hope she remembers that she always has a home here. I hope she remembers that she can count on me if she needs help or if things get tough. I hope she remembers that her dad loves her and always will.