A Letter to Lauren

July 11, 2011

Dear Lauren,

I sat in your empty room this morning. Divested of your treasures, assorted shoes lying about, and pictures of the people that have loved and cared for you over the years, it is simply a room, an incredibly quiet room. There is a stillness throughout the house as if you have taken the “energy” of the house with you as well as your things. I feel like I have lost my anchor, my reason to get up in the morning, the guideposts of my day, now that your schedule is no longer mine. I still hear you in the night, rustling your covers, snuggling further into your pillow, and I picture your curly dark head. Yet, you are actually miles away.

No one or no thing has ever needed me, depended on me, as much as you have. Now you have a home of your own. This should be a time of celebration. It is a victory hard won. I thought I would be elated, that this would be a step forward for both of us. Yet, you have taken this huge step and I am paralyzed by fear. So many things could go wrong. Have I thought this thing through? Have I planned for all the possibilities, all the necessities?

Are you ready? Am I? You push me away lately – yet still raise your cheek for a goodbye kiss. Who will be there to interpret each sound, know what you need just from sharing your space? I can tell just by seeing the color of your skin or hearing the tone of your voice if you are hungry, tired, or unwell. Sure, other people know you, care about you, will be with you every moment, but will they listen or see the way I would?

You’re supposed to give your child roots and wings. Your roots are forever entwined with mine. Are your wings strong enough though, will you soar or fall? I must allow you to try. The weight around my heart should not keep you tethered unable to fly. I have built you a platform, the foundation is strong. I’ll wait here if you need to return. But for now…fly, baby…. fly.

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