Today I took my 16-year old daughter to the Department of Public Safety to obtain her learners permit.
I am happy for her. She is so excited to grow up and drive off both literally and figurately.
I am sad for me. Sad because she is growing up, eager to leave and spread her wings. Sad that I feel she will not longer be in a space where I can peek in know that she is safe and sigh in relief.
I am terrified of what all this could mean for her in ways that she is not yet aware. The many faces of humanity she will meet. The good, the bad and the indifferent while I will no longer be the balm that soothes the hurt away.
Terrified that she will venture into spaces I will not be invited into. Afraid she will endure hurts I may never know of.
She is unaware of the predators that lurk outside the safety of my arms. Predators that roam on two feet as well as four. Predators that cloak their evils in the persona of kindness and sanity.
On the ride back I reiterate the benefits of following the law, making the correct choices, no alcohol and my own experiences and the reasons I chose do not indulge in mind-altering substances.
Those words I will undoubtedly repeat many times in the coming years, coupled with incessant prayers.
Spending sleepless nights as my imagination takes flight.
I trust the lessons taught will never be far from herGroei heart.
So one day soon my baby girl will close the car door and drive off to the beginnings of a new life.
I will have to muster the strength to let her go as every other mother before me did. As my own mother allowed me to do.
I strengthened my wings and I flew off. I fell sometimes, other times I was knocked down. Some times I laid there for a moment trying to catch my breath. Other times I sprang to my feet with the agility of a Kung Fu master and went right back into the ring.
Sometimes I win and sometimes I lose.
Though one thing is certain I will remain defeated, I will always rise again.
It is said we learn best by watching and imitating. If these concepts hold true then my baby will persevere and soar on the lessons taught and the wings of a mother’s prayer.