Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Driver's License

It wasn't until I was safely out of my self-involved twenties that I recognized just how terrifying it was for my mother that year I spent in Africa. I knew then that she was often frustrated that I was far away and unreachable by phone or any other means much of the time. I know now that despite their uneasiness, my parents admired my independence and choice of "the road less traveled by."

And now here I am, just a little terrified of the idea of Big Sis riding her bike somewhere, someday soon, by herself. Somewhere that would necessitate her crossing streets with actual cars on them.

But Big Sis can sail her own boat now, on a bay with actual deep water. Watching her sit confidently on that rail, pull in her sails, and duck under the boom gives me shivers of fear and pride. And glimpses of what it might feel like later, when she boards a plane by herself, buckles herself into the driver's seat of the family car, and moves out and checks in at the freshman dorm.

This is what it's all about, right? Providing our children the training and tools to launch themselves and steer around obstacles in the wide world. Even go places we wouldn't, and with more confidence.

I try not to fixate on the potential crashing and capsizing.

It sure is exhilarating (wince) to watch them fly.

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