It's snowing here in Virginia, which means it's panic time for the weather boys and girls. Yesterday I heard one TV weatherwoman say, "And tomorrow, it appears that we will be having a weather event."
Sounds exciting, doesn't it? I guess this is the 'weather event': IT'S SNOWING!!!!!
It's pretty and the air feels crisp and cold. The clouds are hanging low and heavy, burdening the sky.
I'm sitting in the midst of a house that appears to have been the scene of a weather event itself - or perhaps a party event - but, in truth, it's just the home of five busy, rambunctious kids. Who are all gone. But they've left a trail behind; homework, cereal bowls, shoes, Wii controllers, mail, books, shoes, more shoes, and look - over there! - more shoes!!!
The youngest four are spending the weekend with their dad, having a lot of fun, I'm sure.
I just returned from putting Sarah and Elijah (boyfriend) on a plane bound for Cleveland. His birthday gift to her. His mom and I drove together, got them checked in, watched them make their way through security, waved one last time and then watched them disappear. I did okay, until she turned and walked beyond my sight.
And then I felt my heart crack.
Sarah is at the stage in life where more and more things will occur that she will navigate alone, and I will simply have to stand back quietly and watch. Pray. Breathe deeply. Hold my tongue. Today was one of those. It's a challenge to imagine her on the plane (her first flight), a little nervous, wondering what she's hearing and feeling and experiencing, without me there to explain it all and reassure her. And keep her safe.
And here come the tears...
My children, my greatest joy, occupy the softest part of my heart. The part that didn't even ripen until their birth. And sometimes it feels as though the past 17 years have been nothing but slow and steady growth, a careful maturation of beauty and confidence, a fragile bloom that turned into a firm fruit, still on the vine.
Watching my daughter walk down the runway to airplane with her boyfriend provokes a major tugging on the vine, that still-existent umbilical cord that binds me and bids me watch over her.
My daughter is far, far away, above me even as I type this. What a feeling. I'm not sure I like it so much, but I welcome it, I suppose. The whole point of having them is to raise them up, empower and equip them to be decent, independent humans. Right?
I miss my girl already.