Thoughts on My Daughter’s Birthday

June 17, 2009

Baby Bird - First Day of Flying by Shelly S. Cannady

Baby Bird - First Day of Flying by Shelly S. Cannady

My daughter turned 16 years old today.  I don’t know how that happened when I just had her what seemed like last week! 

Sixteen!  Where did it go?  I still remember so clearly the day she was born.  I was 5 days past my due date, so I was more than ready to meet her when labor started.  Sure, it was hard work, but when it was over I had Emily! 

Nothing would ever be the same again.  I would never be the same again.  I was a mother.  Emily’s mother.  Nothing has or ever will mean as much to me or change me the way becoming a mother did.  I was no longer just Diane.  I no longer had solitary dreams and plans.  I was a team – a package deal – and I felt like I had found my life’s purpose.  I was called to be a mother and nothing had ever thrilled me more or scared me more at the same time!

Now that baby is sixteen.  Sixteen!  Sixteen means driving, and driving means independence.  Sixteen brings jobs outside the home. I won’t have a captive audience in the van driving to and from everywhere.  It is the beginning of letting go, and I’m not ready.  I’m not ready!

But I, like all mothers before me, have to start the process anyway.  Because one of the most important jobs we have is the one where we teach our little birds to fly.  While I’m not planning on kicking my little bird out of the nest anytime soon, I must encourage and applaud her efforts at flying short solo flights out of the nest and back again, no matter how terrifying or sad it is for me.  I’m sure this will be the very hardest part of the whole journey for me.  Labor was nothing compared to this letting go!

But because my job as a mother would not be successful without this step, I will do what needs to be done.  I will love her and release her…and rejoice when I watch her soar!

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