Thursday, September 2, 2010

Endless Childhood

Today after school my daughter and I had what could only be considered a cry fest.  My daughter is busy sending in her college applications and with each essay, comes the realization that her childhood is almost over.  My daughter doesn't want to leave home and go away to college any more than I want her to go. We talked about how we wish we could stop time and forever be in this moment and cook together and work together and have fun together for always. We wanted so much to wave a magic wand so that she could just be the age she is right now and we could have a lifetime of moments together that never ended. We talked about how no one told me that my children would eventually grow up and leave and how no one told her that she would have to grow up and leave and that wasn't quite fair.  When you are little, it seems that you will always live with your mommy and daddy and dinner will be ready at 7pm, and laundry will be clean and ready for school, and your bed will always be waiting in your room, and that whenever you need your parents - there they are.  When you are a mommy of young children, it seems that your children will always live in your house, you will always get to make dinners for them and do their laundry, and hear about their day, and kiss them good night. It never occurs to either the child or the mommy - that all of that will end. So we cried.  Then we cried some more. Then somewhere in the middle of all that crying we talked about hopes and dreams and aspirations. I said that no good mommy really wants her child to stay home and not follow her hopes and dreams. No good mommy would want to keep her child home and keep her from being all she could be.  And then I said that no smart and talented child would really want to stay home forever and forget about all her wishes and aspirations and dream for an amazing future. That isn't how growing up works. I asked her if all those hopes and dreams were still inside her and of course they are.  I asked her if she thought she could be all she was destined to be by staying with me and of course she can't. She wants to be a marine biologist and an environmental scientist and she wants to serve our country and attend the Coast Guard Academy and spend her life protecting our Coast from all that threatens it. And so my daughter with half of a full and loving heart so rooted in home and half of a full and loving heart rooted in becoming something wonderful.....put the stamps on the envelopes. We both silently acknowledge that things will never be quite the same. The tears freely flow but inside each tear is the knowledge that the future is bound to be amazingly bright and beautiful.

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