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Until Then

May 22, 2010

If you do not raise your eyes you will think that you are the highest point.

~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

Somewhere between yesterday and today my daughter grew. Her face changed she carries herself a little different. Although I watch for these minute differences I am always taken aback. I want my kindergartener to stay toothless and silly, my third grader to keep the joy and wonder and my preteen to keep her sweet innocence. It’s impossible and I know it. I help them get dressed or rub backs and looking  at their long limbs I wonder that they once fit in the palm of my hand.

What is that quote our job as parents is to give our children wings and teach them to fly? Though I am waxing sentimental it is understood that my goal is to work myself out of a job and hopefully into a friendship. The toughest thing of motherhood from what I’ve experienced and my girlfriends tell me is the letting go. Inherent in this process of raising children is to teach our children well enough that they may go it alone without us. Knowing this from the beginning, what is our vision? If you are in the early years or the final years of child rearing, what is it you want to find on the other side. Though it seems like this is about your children, it isn’t; it’s about you. Who will you be in 18 years, besides mom? Even though I am careful to not limit myself, in definitions of mother, wife, writer, I am aware that one of these descriptions is diminishing yearly.

Having a vision of who we want to be gives us a promise of what we shall one day be. A blueprint for our future self. Who is that woman? How did she get there and what can you do to help her now?

If you don’t know where you are going, you will probably end up somewhere else. ~Lawrence J. Peter

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