Monday, 8 August 2011

Growing Pains

My youngest sister, Emily, moved out of the nest.

This has really perplexed the wee-est Webster because,according to his seven-year old sensibility,"why would anyone ever want to leave their mama?". 

Yes, why indeed?

Although I was thrilled for Emily to take this giant leap into adulthood, my heart ached for my mom and dad.  Watching her boxes slowly leave the house, I couldn't help but wonder how my parent's felt.  Like all phases of parenthood, I am sure they are wrestling with conflicting emotions . . .relief . . . love . . . mourning . . . jubilation . . . fear . . . and so on.  It must be bittersweet to watch your babies grow and take flight.  Isn't this what we, the parents, work so hard for?  Every hug and kiss, every reprimand, every lesson, and every decision is made with the intention that someday they will forge their own path in this world.   But, even though this is what we are working towards, it must be difficult to stand by and watch that fateful day finally arrive. 

How do you let them go?

Segue into back story . . . 

On Friday night, the Skov-Nielsen women and the honorary Skov, Zoe, headed to town for a night of shopping and eating.  I LOVE ladies' night!  Shopping with my mom, my sisters and my daughter is such a treat because not only are we hunting for a good deal to make us look fabulous, but we are also hunting for the biggest laugh.  Here, Hilary, I think you would look fabulous in this tube top. Oh, Krista, this let-your-cheeks-hang-out miniskirt is just what you need and so on and so on!  And. somehow, amidst all the jokes and all the looks of disgust my daughter gave me as I paraded out of the changing rooms, we managed to make a few purchases.  On our way out,  Zoe decided to go back and buy a sweater she had tried on earlier.  She found it, and headed up to the cash as I stood off to the side admiring all the candy they had on display.  Mmmm refined sugar . . . my favourite!

The cashier greeted her, and asked her for her postal code.

Blah, blah . . .

Then her name.


Zoe Webster

I froze. Standing a few feet away from my daughter, I began to see her in a different light.  She was a person!
Yes, very profound, Krista.  But, seriously, she is no longer an appendage of mine, but a person with her own name, her own email address, and as I am constantly reminded, her own distinct likes and dislikes.  We often call Zoe my mini-me because she looks so much like her mama, but at that moment, I realized she was her own woman with her own future ahead of her.

Then she pulled out her brand-new debit card.  My baby even has her own money!  How did this happen?

But, guess what . . .  I was excited not sad like I thought I would be.  My heart did a little leap. My baby is growing up, and this is a good thing.

So, how do you let them go?

Well, I guess life just helps you through it.  Their departure does not happen over night.  It happens gradually with each step they make until eventually they can stand on their own and you, the mama or the papa, can recognize them as the individual you helped them become.  This is not a time for tears, but a time to pat yourself on the back for a job well done. You survived parenthood without killing your kids . . . hooray!!

And your reward . . . .

No tears here . . .

tee hee!


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