I’m dressed. Sort of. No eye makeup and some sunglasses for the road to the airport , but I have on a cute outfit to feel a little lighter today. In an hour, I will drop off my precious middle child (she’s only 24) to go across the big ocean to school. You know what’s strange? She’s done this before, and it isn’t any easier. I know she can do it. The question is, can I? Letting go is usually more incremental than this. Today, I have to release her to God’s care again and know she’s going to be fine. She just seems so fragile to me. So vulnerable. She looks like she did that first day of kindergarten to me again. What is there about the zillion goodbyes we must say that still sting so poignantly? I’ll see her at Christmas, so she’s actually been away longer before, but this time, it seems it is her career path, of a more permanent nature, that might scoop her away to a different land to live. I mentally review how many times I’ve told her she’s an eighth generation Texan (did I overemphasize it to the point she believes somebody in this crazy family ought to get up and leave?) She knows how important family is. She’s ready to launch. After all, it really should be one of the top ten or so goals of a parent. I’ve noticed lately it isn’t as much. (Google “helicopter parenting”) But it was my goal– to see her successfully go forward in life with a fervent regard for God and others, making life more about others than herself, defining success as being a contributing, compassionate person in this world, not ever by worldly measures of money or toys or things. She is all of this and so much more. I still cry. Today it’s about my own selfishness, wanting her still to be close, still to be mine. But then, I know she never was. Godspeed, Lauren. Travel mercies. Vaya con Dios. We love you so.
I lift up my eyes to the hills —
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip —
He who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, He who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The LORD watches over you —
the LORD is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The LORD will keep you from all harm —
He will watch over your life;
the LORD will watch over your coming and going
both now and forever more.
UPDATE: It was the best dollar I ever spent to go in with Lauren to check in at the airport. I had a sobering perspective check as I saw a mother and family saying goodbye to their young daughter–in army fatigues.