Today my daughter and I stood in line at the post office for an hour and a half to get her passport for the band trip to Italy in the spring. Don’t worry this is not going to be a rant about the inefficiency of the government, although I can MOST certainly go there. (Seriously, line out the door and one person working the desk. Sigh.) But when the woman at the post office told me that Kayla’s passport would be good for 15 years and renewing it would never be my problem. While I understand, intellectually, that my daughter is almost 18, the thought of not doing stuff like this with her felt like the rug being pulled out from underneath me.
Now every parent of a teenager has the fantasy of when their teen will move out and go to college and see that mom and dad might actually know something but when that time has a real date to it, that’s different. She is gone a lot now, with school, work, her boyfriend, band, etc. Yet, she is home every night and I see her every day. Soon that will not be the case and that causes me to catch my breath.
How can it be that this tiny little baby who was failure to thrive, cried all the time and was a late walker, is ready to be on her own? How can it be that I am no longer that young mom? (Again, seriously another blog.) What will it be for her to have her own space, her own life and for me to come visit?
She is intelligent, caring, compassionate, creative and ready to go. I trust that she will make the best decisions that she can and knows that her dad and I are always here. I trust the parenting we have done so far (I don’t think you ever finish) and I trust that God is with her as she learns to navigate this next chapter of her life. But I don’t always trust the world I am sending her into. I watched the news last night and saw that one of the colleges she has applied to seems to have someone on the loose giving young women the date rape drug. I decided on the spot she will live at home forever. I will likely lie in bed and wonder if she is safe in her dorm room each night. I am reassured that we have unlimited texting and I will just have her text me her every move. Every 18 year old loves that about their mom, right?
This simple act of getting a piece of paper from the government stirred up in me the reality of letting go, loving without smothering and knowing that I will suck at it. All I can do is pray daily for both of my children and the world that we live in. I pray that everyone’s sons and daughters are safe, healthy and happy while knowing that is not the case. I can pray. And install the tracker app in their phones.