I wonder if you'll remember this week: who dropped you off, what your first steps through that door felt like, who tied your shoes. I did your hair the other morning; two french braids running along each side of your cute head, accenting the curve of your buttony nose, rose-petal lips, no-more-baby-fat jawline. I'll remember those braids for awhile, you know. They were my first successful attempt.
As we struggle to help you pick the right outfit each morning (how much running will you do?) I remember our first conversation on the topic, the night before school started. "What do you want to wear for your first day, sweetie?" ...."A HOT DOG COSTUME!" came your quick, bounding reply. We laughed and wished we had a hot dog costume to give you. I remember this as we look through your clothes each day; I remember your penchant for matching pink with pink; I remember it is good for you to make these choices on your own.
I wonder if you'll see how hard it is for us to watch you go. We peeked through the window that first day, your dad and I. We watched you hang your backpack for the first time, on a hook in a cubby by the door; you were a perfect mix of bravery and hesitance. We couldn't hold yours so we squeezed our hands together, instead. As we walked away, our eyes met and counted years, marvelled at time, sighed with the difficult beauty of it all.
Though it is good for you, letting you walk through that door isn't easy, by any stretch. This is parenting. We get to hold on sometimes, with snuggles, lessons, and bedtime stories. Between us we have, or have made, family trait or title, house rules and inside jokes. We share so much. But so much of what we're doing now is letting you go: out our door to the ones that open for you elsewhere.
Sometimes those doors look funny to us. We don't like or recognize their shape or what seems to lie beyond the threshold. But you are brave and growing, and those doors, for you, are musts. So we let you walk, decide, and learn things, peeking through the glass when we can. Maybe you'll remember this week: who picked you up, fixed your laces, brushed your hair, sighed on the window, brought you home.
|Greece, 1952, by Ernst Haas|