Our daughter leaves home today, she’s 15.
Hopefully she will come back many, many times during the rest of her lifetime both to live and to visit but things will never be the same again. She’s off on her big adventure, the first (I hope) of many.
Our daughter is off on exchange to Finland for a year with Rotary and she will live and go to school in a small community on the west side of the country about 4 hours from Helsinki. As an aside, my first bout of morning sickness when I was pregnant with Meg was in Helsinki. Aub and I went there to mark our first wedding anniversary – one year around the sun as husband and wife. The circle of life continues….
Meg (our daughter) is a keen gardener, her passion fruit flowered today and that brought with it much excitement of treats to come! I’ll have to tend to it now that she’s leaving and I’m a terrible gardener – terrible because I tend to forget that plants need feeding – a reality not unlike that of having children really!
Anyway, while having that conversation with Meg this morning a thought came into my head:
There is more to growing a garden than just planting seeds.
So we part ways with Meg today knowing that while we have nurtured, fed, protected and (hopefully) inspired Meg to the best of our ability and all of our good will and love now it is her turn! She now has a big opportunity to grow her own garden (so to speak) and to enjoy all of the fruits of her labour safe in the knowledge that she did this, she made this happen, this was and is her choice. Just like in the garden there is no guarantee that what she plants will blossom and there’s always a chance that the hours invested will appear to come to nothing at times. Finally there’s the frustrating reality that the juiciest of fruits sometimes grow just out of reach OR get munched upon by something else.
I know that you will take all of this in your stride Meg.
So today I’m not sad, I’m excited as this moment is everything I’ve ever wanted for my child. To be strong, bold, courageous and motivated enough to take her own chances and undertake her own adventures. To somewhat outgrow me and what I can offer here in the safety of our home.
Go for it Meg, I’ll be willing you on and supporting you all the way and (hopefully) keeping your actual garden here alive and well.