Sunday, August 15, 2010

Empty Nest

It's an odd feeling. After 19 years of obsessing and hovering, nurturing, protecting and providing for the first born... she is suddenly gone. Not dead or anything tragic, in fact it is wonderful that she gets to do what she has prepared for all these years and start her college life. She secured funds and created a plan that will provide her a good professional education at a good school.

Yes the house is quiet and haunted by memories of a lifetime of her growing up. Daddy's little girl took her last trip in a little three hour drive to a new and exciting life that holds all the promise of a future that we parents have always targeted. But I look in her room and see the long line of nights at work or play, with friends and alone. The long, deep philosophical discussions of right and wrong, good and evil. All ghostly and faded memories of a little girl that no longer exists.

Every time I see her from now on she will be a newer, more grown up, more educated, more responsible adult. Carving out her independence as young adults should. As all parents hope their children will.

With a flash of painful realization I see that my parental drive to raise a capable, independent and self sufficient adult daughter means the most tragic pain of loss for a parent. Because by design of nature she is clawing and scraping to gain independence FROM ME! Just as I clawed and fought to be free of my dependence of my parents so many years ago. Every achievement now will not be a shared victory but another wedge driven solidly between us, separating the little girl that clung to my neck and smothered me in sweet kisses. At one point her mother and I made up her whole world. Now we are like the old playthings of her youth, left behind to collect dust in the back of the closet back home. Sure, she will always look back with love and fondness, but for a short shining time in her history I was the greatest man in the world. I don't know when that changed but I knew for certain the time was over when I left her at college and she hugged her mother, kissed her boyfriend and waived goodbye to her father.

Hukuna Matata Bitches


Avitable said...

Sounds like you did a good job with her. :)

Cris said...

Thank you Adam. Who know feeling proud could hurt so sweet?

Pam said...