Roots and Wings

In the blink of an eye, parenting takes you from this


to this







and suddenly you are putting your baby on a plane to Japan and there she goes!

I am NOT freaking about her. She is the least of my concerns. It reminds of how protective my dad was when I first started driving the largest car ever made my any American company, the ever-lovely and oh-so-popular with teens of the eighties, Olds '98. I've talked about it before so I won't bore you again, but it was large and could seat eight comfortably. My dad wasn't worried about me as a driver. He was worried about all the other crazies out there he could not control and so that large hunk of metal was the only shield he could provide. 

Lucy has a shield. She has peers and chaperones and a rich fifteen year history between Misato and Winona. 

But what she doesn't have is me. She will carry my voice, one that whispers eat! sleep! stay hydrated! be polite!  The very act of sending her shows we believe in who she is and what she can do.  My girl will be forever changed by an experience that is uniquely hers and all I can hope for is that she carries the very best bits of our thirteen years together into this foreign land and calls upon them as needed.

I believe in all of what this experience is supposedly about- a cultural exchange that teaches young people what the world has to offer. But I have done some of my own travelling and what really happens is you learn more about who you are and how you relate to the world and what you are capable of doing outside your comfort zone.  It is hard and terrifying and exhilarating and wonderful. She will miss me and I wll not be there. She will get tired and have to push through. She will not know exactly what is being said and she will have to fight to just figure it out.

She can do it and I can do it because I believe in both of us. I believe that she can take off and I can let go and we will begin our separate journeys apart.

But I can also feel sad about saying goodbye. It is just the beginning, just the first step of many where we watch how our little girl become someone we couldn't even dream she could be way back when we were rocking her to sleep every night. I would read and sing and whatever dreams I may have had seem so far away. I don't remember when I stopped dreaming for her, but it is clear she has taken over.  And isn't that just what every parent hopes for? The desire not only for their kids to dream, but their willingness to act on those dreams? 

She is flying so high and so far away, and I am more grounded than ever.



























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