Monday, August 16, 2010

Letting Go

To fulfill its destiny, a caterpillar must let go of all it has been and all it has done.  It must make a leap of faith and cocoon itself in an environment that will allow this transformation.  With time and only then, can the butterfly emerge, bringing beauty to the world.

This week will bring great changes for us.  I have completed my mission with one child, and I am happy for her.  She has found the absolute best college and environment we could have found for her.  She is more mature and stable than most adults I know.  I am proud of all she is and does.  There is loss for those of us left behind but we remind ourselves that we have not lost, rather we're sharing the beauty she is inside and out with the world.

College selection is like many life events.  The selection is a lot like, from a parental point of view, finding a mate for your child.  None of them seem good enough or deserving of her.  Some are too distant, too small, too large, not good looking enough, not prestigious enough.  The choices narrow.  From the student's point of view it is a lot like buying a first home.  Do I like the neighborhood?  Do I feel at home?  Are the neighbors friendly?  Can I afford to live here?

As we moved on in the selection, it became apparent that one college alone filled all of our requirements.  Now, only days remain.  We have shopped, we have packed, we have sorted.  Truly, I don't remember, and neither does dh, packing and packing to move to college.  I remember bringing my clothes, my toiletries, a few notebooks and my bedding, right off my bed from home.   We have webcams and cameras and Facebook to keep in touch.  A computer and iPod keep us in tune.  We are trying to pack her written music but as she goes through it, she sits down at the piano and remembers a song she once played.  I think this may take awhile.

Some warn me of the dangers of college life, of student drinking and suicides, of immorality and peer pressure.  (I'm not sure why.  It reminds me of when I was pregnant and people would tell you delivery horror stories.)  You would have to be dead to not be aware of the possibilities.  Yet, I cannot keep her in the chrysalis.  The Bible is full of references to leaving, of going forth, leaving one's father and mother, going out to spread the Word.  Life is full of risk, if you are truly living.

Why must we experience such loss?  Why must we let go and feel such pain?  Once, after the loss of two much wanted pregnancies, a friend consoled me:  No one can really understand God or His ways, but perhaps through our loss, I can understand how very difficult it must have been for Him to allow the sacrifice of His only Son.  Perhaps, only through my loss can I be fully empathetic to others who have lost someone, how it must feel to let go.

Friends ask how I'll do.  I remind myself that it is just a few months - she'll be back for  Thanksgiving and we will be in contact with today's modern technology.  I hold my feelings in check, my happiness for her outweighs the loss of mine.

The best I can tell you how it feels is that it is a bit like the caterpillar.  I must die a little to fulfill my destiny as well.  I have put all I am and all I do into producing this offspring.  Now is the time for judgement, and if I've done well, she'll fly away.

Photo credit:  Lauren, 8/16/10, our front fence


Cloudia said...

This should be published nationally, like in a magazine or something. A prize winner, like your daughter.

You made me tremble with life's amazingness.

Warm Aloha from Waikiki :)

Comfort Spiral

Rick said...

When our two were dropped off at college we drove a few miles, pulled over and had a wonderful cry then went home. We have to remember that we raise them to be independent. This is a step toward that.

A good cry works wonders.


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