The sky was blue today. That deep azure that makes you think that you really could understand infinity. The chalk marks of cirrus clouds just above the horizon were unthreatening reminders that nothing is perfect. Letting go of perfection has always been hard for me. I’m a neat freak, don’t like surprises, and plan everything out to within an inch of my life. You’ll have noticed that I’ve been regaling you with the nuts and bolts of Lauren moving into her own home, but I have not mentioned the emotional aspects. I have budgets, and caregiver charts, and tiny pieces of cardboard cut to scale, representing furniture pieces, that I can wiggle around on the house plan. But I haven’t talked about letting go.
Every once in awhile I allow myself a little daydream about what it will be like to wake up in this house without Lauren being here. I can’t even write that sentence without tearing up. How quiet the house will be. As I explore the thought, I pull my mind back to the present as the perceived reality is too distressing. How can I be so excited and relieved that Lauren will be getting her own home and so anxious and troubled at the same time?
I know I have dealt with the challenges that Lauren has by trying to make everything else about her life perfect. I control how she dresses, who caresfor her, where she spends her time, and what she does there. This is just as much for my sake as for Lauren’s, a need to make perfect what can never be perfect. It is time to separate my needs from hers. I will still be able to watch over and guide her life within the parameters of housing and care that we are setting up. But the level of control that I have now, has to end.
I am coming to terms with the fact that Lauren’s life can be richer if I allow her to experience life through eyes other than my own. There’s that saying about giving your children roots and wings. I guess I’ve always considered an inability to use those wings to be another of Lauren’s challenges. I need to be the air beneath those wings instead of holding her so close that she cannot spread them. Over the next few months I’m going to be working on changing my perception of what needs to be perfect in Lauren’s life and at the same time...maybe take a look at my own.
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in
Leonard Cohen "Anthem"