Tuesday, November 13, 2012

girl to woman

My daughter Katie moved out over the weekend. She completed college and is figuring out what's next. This feels different than any other send-off. Exciting, yet so final. She's the last, my only daughter. She had my heart ...

The nest begins to empty when she goes off to kindergarten. With each passing year and outgrown pair of jeans, a mother dreads the inevitable. Then when a daughter is 14 and 15, an empty nest can't come soon enough. Her wonky hormones propel her across a tightrope between girlhood and womanhood. And then, bit by imperceptible bit, a graceful and mature 18-year-old emerges. The day a daughter leaves for college, she leaves her four favorite stuffed animals on a neatly-made bed, mimicking a childhood left behind.

Those four college years were over in an instant. Like bookends pushed closely together, the day we first moved her in and the day we moved her out seemed just inches apart.

Katie settled in her old room for the summer and worked on her photography. We shared the upstairs: she worked at her computer and I wrote at my desk across the hall. She'd laugh at something and share with me; I'd ask for computer help. We watched movies and ate buckets of popcorn. But as summer stretched to autumn, we knew the time was coming. Her time.

She is much like me. In that I understand her introspective ways,
I want her to taste the messy frenzy of life. To not shy away from it, to speak her quiet wisdom.

In that she is an artist, creator and dreamer like me,
I want her to harness every creative fiber and weave it into a fabulous tapestry.

Before the rigors of adulthood anchor her to one place,
I want her to take wing and discover where God would have her.

Katie knows my sadness, a burden that spilled over in sudden tears at the mall last week.
In the food court, over a chicken sandwich!
Learning how to be a mom was hard.
Letting go of being a mom seems harder.

We're both in a new season:
a daughter making her way in the world,
a mother seeking new purpose and passions,
and finding contentment with husband and home.

Do well, Katie. Be strong. Love others, serve God!
I admire who you are. I love you.

She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
Proverbs 31:25


Diana Coon said...

How honest and beautiful....just like the author.

Kathleen said...

Beautifully written, Barb. This is such a nice testament to your relationship. Katie is blessed to have you as a mom.