Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Adventures in Store

Although I take pride in how my daughter is growing up and maturing, and love the person she is and is becoming, it is such an overwhelming emotional struggle for me. The baby, the toddler, the pre-schooler, the grade and middle schooler, and now the teenager. With each season in her life I have struggled to make adjustments and to find a healthy equilibrium. It seems that just as I start to find my way, the rules suddenly change. She is growing more and more independent with each passing day, and I have come to really miss the younger versions of my daughter, even as I love and fully embrace the young woman that she is evolving into.

The other day I needed to reduce the clutter in my daughter's bedroom. Her bookshelves had become overfilled and I wanted to pack up the books from her childhood that she had long since outgrown. A job that should have taken 30 minutes ended up taking a full evening as each book that I picked up overwhelmed me with memories:
  • Stories I remember reading to her when she was sick and she wanted to be nowhere else than snuggled against my shoulder.
  • Pages we strolled through over and over again because she loved the pictures.
  • Tales that I used to read to her that she ultimately read to me after a time.
  • Stories we read together when my life had broken apart that brought us a measure of comfort.
  • Series that we followed eagerly with each and every volume released.
  • Childhood adventures that pulled us into discussions of future dreams and possibilities.
There were even several books that I had bought for her that she outgrew before we got around to reading them. Now all are packed away in boxes not to see the light of day again for some time. I pray someday that they are shared again between a parent and a child. There is so much opportunity contained in those pages. Maybe my daughter might even share them with her family one day.