Now That I'm Someone Else

LIfe and loves of the bubble bath queen

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Letting go

High school graduation. How does it sneak up on us so quickly? This past weekend my sister, my niece, my daughter and I drove to Ruidoso New Mexico to my nephew’s high school graduation.

It still seems very surreal. Where did the time go? I remember when I was younger, when my daughter was younger, hearing people say that they still think of their children as young children, no matter their age. I thought they were crazy.

Now I know how it feels. My niece is almost 22 but when I think of her and she is not standing right in front of me, the picture of her that lives in my mind, she is about three, tiny little face and a huge mass of out of control curls, running through the house in her nightgown saying “ Maggie Simpson, Maggie Simpson, I’m gonna babysit you!” We have no idea why she said that, but it was her thing for a while.

My nephew will be eighteen in a few weeks, and just graduated from high school, he has a car, a job, a plan for college, but when I think of him, he is all dressed up climbing on the bus for the first day of kindergarten. His little boy comb over smoothly in place, holding Scooby doo because he is scared.

We all went out to dinner and we followed him because he knows the area, it seems so weird that my sister’s baby has a life we know nothing about, drives streets we’ve never been driven, eats at restaurants we’ve never seen. He valet parked his car life he had been doing it all his life. Who taught him these things that we haven’t been part of, or was he just born knowing his place is this world and navigating accordingly?

My daughter is closing in on sixteen, as she reminds me daily. I know I need to let go, she really doesn’t have a life because I’m too over protective. Her friends can come to our house but I don’t really let her run with the crowd. It’s too scary, so many things can happen. I know I need to ease up and let her have a life, every time I give myself that little pep talk, I’m right at the brink of letting go, and then I realize, I’m not ready, we still have to wait, just a little longer.

How do you let go? I know she needs to make some mistakes while I can still guide her, but the thought of her getting hurt is too much. Especially knowing that getting hurt today is way different than getting hurt when I was sixteen, and could have much longer lasting repercussions.

So, I hope one day she forgives me, I’m new at this letting go thing. When I take my niece to the trax station I still remind her not to cross in front of the train, or to watch out for cars in the parking lot, she’s twenty one and I still can’t stop.

Maybe if I had a house full of kids it would be easier, the letting go would happen naturally, almost without thinking about it because when the oldest were stretching their wings you would still be so busy with the younger ones, and then when the younger ones get to that age you would know they would be ok. Or maybe I’m just up in the night and we all lay awake and wonder how we can let our babies out the door into this mean old world without us.

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