Yippee! My daughter is back home again after two weeks in Eretz Israel. Needless to say I am so happy. I missed her so much. I know it was only two weeks but it felt much longer to me.
You see, this twenty year old woman I had the privilege of birthing is not just my daughter, she is my friend. I realized how she has become so much of a friend to me while she was gone. It amazes me. Talk about beyond your wildest dreams! She is so much a part of everything I do and am, and yet she is very much her own person. That is the part that is not always so easy.
Parenting adults, I am convinced, is far harder than parenting the little ones. When they were little it seemed fairly obvious what my role was and what I was supposed to do. Guide them, protect them, feed and nurture them. Although these tasks were not always walks in the park for me, it was simple and clear cut as to what was expected of me as a parent.
Now that they are adults it does not seem so clear. For me it has been a struggle to strike a balance of respect for their person hood and knowing when to speak and knowing when to shut up. Yep, that shutting up is a toughie. Allowing her the space and trusting her is just downright frightening to me. Yes, I know she is capable and competent etc., but my own experiences scream out at me to say something! But you see, that is the problem. They are MY experiences not hers. I made some other than wise decisions in my life when I was her age. She on the other hand has a self worth and faith that I never had at that age that enables her to make such good decisions. Decisions that blow me away! She has a head on her shoulders that I never had. What can you say to that except, Baruch Hashem, Praise G-d!
And then there is the issue of emunah, absolute faith, in G-d. Knowing that He is far better able to guide her than I ever will be. That He loves her more than I do, and that He has her best interests more at heart than I do. It's a struggle for me, but a struggle in vain. What I mean to say is, why do I struggle? It is just more growing pains, but more for me than anyone. As I let her grow, I too will grow. To be sure, this time sure keeps me praying. What choice do I have? I could keep trying to control, but the only one I can control is me. I could continue to struggle and fight but I am fighting with no one but myself.
I know I am still needed and necessary, but in a far different way. She still needs me to guide, protect, feed and and nurture her but in a deeper and not so obvious way. The trick is in figuring this out, and since I am just starting out on the leg of the journey it is a trick I have not yet mastered. So I guess the best thing for me to do is to 'let go and let G-d', which is a decision that is not easy because, well, I am me after all, but it is the one that will not only benefit me, but everyone I love too.
Wish me luck!
I have a question. Or three.
1 year ago