My kids went to Vacation Bible School today. Brynn had a cupcake and colored a picture of a koala. I, on the other hand, dropped into a pit of introspection on the topic of parenting.
I've never done MDO or preschool or daycare. I've gone on tour and left them with grandmas, but I've never put them in a stranger's hands and driven away. So as I drove away today, I felt a small tear in the cord that ties us to each other.
Parenting is a bit of dying every day, starting with the cutting of the umbilical cord and then moving on, as I encourage them to sit up alone, to hold their own bottle, to walk away from me. Make friends, I say. Try new things! And as he buttons his shirt all by himself, a little piece of why-he-needs-me dies. There's a continual ache amongst the celebrations.
And I know it will keep going. Learn, grow, fly! I'll urge with my heart breaking. Love! Leave! Cleave! as I let go, over and over and over.
And when it's all done and there's no pressing need, no one screaming for me to cut their sandwich and the silence is deafening, then I will know I did the right thing, and that they will need me in a whole different and much deeper way. Until then, I'll die as much as I need to, every day, to make them alive.