I'd say that the running theme of this year
has been the slow, thoughtful process of learning to let go.
Granted, Kate has over a year before she is off to her first year of college
but the letting go process has been unfolding here for a while.
Letting go can mean a sweet sixteen party, and realizing the next milestone is turning 18, and graduation.
Letting go can mean going to look at colleges, giving opinions and then allowing her to have an opinion of her own, even if you don't agree with it.
Letting go can mean giving advice and then biting your tongue until it's practically bleeding.
Letting go can mean trying to learn not to "fix things" and letting her experience sadness, failure and disappointment- and then quietly offering a cup of cocoa and an I love you.
Letting go can mean seeing your child less as her life becomes her own- less family and parent centered and more world-centered.. her world.
Yes, the letting go is a process that is both exciting and daunting.
I am only now realizing that this letting go will keep reoccurring not only as she goes to college but over and over again
throughout our lives.
And that she too is letting go.
My prayer is that she steps out in confidence and bravery..
and that she always knows that even as we are letting go
our hands are outstretched to her-
to guide, protect and catch her if necessary.
And also to clap for her.. and I have the feeling we'll be doing a lot of clapping.