My daughter and I very much look forward to our time together, just the two of us, where we can reconnect, share, catch up, and do the things of life together. However, she is quickly growing up, and slowly, she is learning to let go. Once upon a time she only felt safe when I held her in my arms. She then jumped down and was satisfied walking beside me holding my hand for support. For a season she was happy as long as should could catch sight of me when she needed assurance. Now, we are apart for longer and longer periods of time. This is necessary and natural. But, it still tugs at me for I desperately want to hold on to my little girl. To make this time together linger for just a while longer.
The other day she hosted an old friend for a sleepover. This event was somewhat traumatic for me because I am not used to being around children. The only child I am comfortable interacting with is my own. It was also traumatic for me because from the start of her friend's visit, it was clear that they wanted to spend time together alone. Thus I got to be with my daughter but not spend any time with her. But as I watched from a distance I saw a beautiful portrait being painted. Two friends that respected and appreciated each other. I noticed that children don't spend too much time reminiscing about the past, they just live and have fun and make new memories. I watched as they went swimming together, played video games together, played basketball together, swung in the hammock together, and talked to each other. My strength was buoyed only because my daughter came over to me between activities and gave me a little hug.
While the process of growing up with our children is both painful and joyful, I know I am doing the right thing by the smile on her face, the twinkle in her eyes, and the song in her heart. I realize that I love best when I hold on the loosest.