It's been a long day...I had a big ol' cry tonight while watching Toy Story 3, ...the subject matter too close to home. Change is constant in life and while we know about certain changes, the inevitability of, when they present, we sometimes find we haven't been quite so honest with ourselves at all in how we thought we would react, or adjust to these changes. I am there. I knew it was coming and thought I was prepared. Two of our three children have already left the nest; one having returned this spring - while temporarily.
This time IS different, it's...THE BABY! The only daughter! ...not that having another daughter would make it any different or easier, it's just so in your face! This is it, she's heading away to school...there's no turning back the hands of time! Oh how I wish I knew that last evening of playing barbies with her was the last...when did we last play house, or have a tea party? I know you certainly don't make a point of playing and telling your child, "...so this is the last time we will ever play dollies together!", but somehow you believe there should have been something to alert you, it just might be. I know too well I have to be so thankful to have her to enjoy and celebrate so many more events, moments and milestones in her life and keep reminding myself of that. Very recently a family I know lost one of their children in a tragic accident; their daughter and I can't help but think about their loss. They have lost their child, a part of their family and are now going over every moment they had with her and while rejoicing in what memories they have of her, wishing there could be more time to make more precious moments. We don't know what time we have and indeed that I am fortunate enough to see her going on to a new adventure in her life is a gift.
I know I'll be fine as her Dad and I adjust and I do a tiny bit of "refurbishing" in her room that is now merely a shell of what it was before the elements of her "character" had been transported to her new digs in the city. Dad is pretty quiet about it all but when the "goodbyes" come, I know it's going to hit hard. I recall the day we brought her home from the hospital and he had tears rolling down his face and I asked what was wrong, and he said he wasn't sure, but that it was hard to believe we had a daughter, a little girl.
Of course there is sadness in the realization that it's true, time does go by so very fast, but joy in knowing what wonderful discoveries lie ahead for her and that she will be excitedly sharing them with us as they come and go and she blossoms even more as a person in who she is and what brings happiness and fulfillment to her in becoming that person and the learning along the way.
Bye bye to our Baby, as she says "Hello" to a world at her feet.