This day is a big one for me. This was the day, eighteen years ago, that my big girl, my first born, was due to arrive. She was late by eight days and, in fact, if it had been a year like this one, she would be one of those funny leap babies with only a handful of birthdays under her belt. She was late, and yet so, so early, I thought. Too early for a very unready me. For years I thought the timing was wrong, that everyone was looking at us thinking we were too early. But then she started teething at six months and took her first steps at eleven. She made us laugh so hard with her bounciness and funny words. I learned, not early enough, that she, that we, happened right on time.
In the sleepless hours of those early months I'm sure I pleaded for her to grow out of this phase quickly, and maybe again when potty training was lagging.
Her prom dress has arrived and we took her to a college interview yesterday. Foolishly, may I wish to slow this phase down?
Next week you will tell me that she is no longer mine. She is an adult and by law there are certain freedoms she now has independently from me and her father. Fair enough. I have been trying very, very hard on that transition from manager to adviser in the last few years, not without a lot of hopeful, maybe desperate, subliminal life lessons (moms and dads: values first!). I am loosening my grip ever so slightly, as slowly as a sentimental mother who wants her child to grow strong and not screwed up can. But as I release her, let me make one thing clear.
I am not giving her to you.
You, who ties so many ifs to beauty and taunts with fake greener grasses. You who glorifies comfort and instills fear of failure. You who favours instant and easy and loud and famous. You who delights in revenge and finds such distaste in suffering and surrender.
No, you may not have her.
She isn't really mine to give anyway.
I was just a steward, shaping on behalf, under direction, of her Creator. I wasn't perfect at it, but did my best. She has her dad's eyes and dimples, her mom's lips and maybe her sass, but she is wonderfully made in her Creator's image. Her lungs fill with His breath, her passion is fed by His spirit. Her heart is young and feisty but it beats for the good things that He has placed in her path. She has a purpose, quite unknown to us all as yet, and you are a player in the plan, I am sure, but the purpose is His. So if I have to let go of this baby-girl-turning-woman, it is to put her back in the hands of our God.
So no, you may not have her. Not on my watch.