As any parent will attest, raising a child to become independent, and successful, to leave home, is our basic purpose. We strive to present the world with an asset to humanity. In retrospect, I can humbly say that my husband and I have accomplished this and we present the world with four gems. I say 'humbly' because they are precious gems despite our parenting blunders, psychological and genetic baggage, discipline mistakes, attempted do-overs, and the lack of any parenting experience whatsoever, to name just a few challenges. By God's grace they are beautiful, kind, gentle, intelligent, miracles. : )
So, as I begin to mentally prepare myself to let go, to release the white knuckle grip I have on our last daughter, I'll post another poem that reflects my heart today.
The Happiest Day
by Linda Pastan
It was early May, I think
a moment of lilac or dogwood
when so many promises are made
it hardly matters if a few are broken.
My mother and father still hovered
in the background, part of the scenery
like the houses I had grown up in,
and if they would be torn down later
that was something I knew
but didn't believe. Our children were asleep
or playing, the youngest as new
as the new smell of lilacs,
and how could I have guessed
their roots were shallow
and would be easily transplanted.
I didn't even guess that I was happy.
The small irritations that are like salt
on melon were what I dwelt on,
though in truth they simply
made the fruit taste sweeter.
So we sat on the porch
in the cool morning, sipping
hot coffee. Behind the news of the day-
strikes and small wars, a fire somewhere-
I could see the top of your dark head
and thought not of public conflagrations
but of how it would feel on my bare shoulder.
If someone could stop the camera then...
if someone could only stop the camera
and ask me: are you happy?
perhaps I would have noticed
how the morning shone in the reflected
color of lilac. Yes, I might have said
and offered a steaming cup of coffee.