Learn to Fly
6 x 6 oil on panel
"What if I fall?"
"Oh, but my darling. What if you FLY?"
When I started this blog in 2010 I had a one year old, a 5 year old, and an 8 year old. Now I have a 9 year old, an almost 13 year old, and an almost 16 year old. My children are no longer babies. No longer toddlers. No longer needing my help so much, or needing their noses wiped, or wanting to cuddle with me on the couch. There are no more days spent holding little hands to guide their first steps and getting sloppy kisses from spaghetti covered faces. They are growing up, and therefore growing further away from me. As they should. It's part of the plan of life. They're supposed to grow up and live their own life and it's my job to prepare them for that.
But it's so very hard to live through. The hardest thing I've ever been called to do.
Now. I recognize this is a little melodramatic. Of course my kids still need me. I still need my mom and I'm 36 years old. Of course I still get kisses (but far fewer, and mostly from the nine year old, bless his heart.) But they are getting ready, someday not too far from this day, to leave our nest. Our beautifully, crazily, happy love filled home.
And this my friends is breaking my heart. I don't quite know how to navigate this time in my life. How many rules and boundaries are too many? They have to make their own choices don't they? They have to live their own life. Be accountable for choices and decisions they make. I try my best to guide and direct them gently with all the love I have, and whatever small amounts of wisdom I have too. But is it enough? Is it too much? WHERE IS THE DANG MANUAL THAT TELLS YOU HOW TO BE A PARENT TO A 16 YEAR OLD???
I don't know what I'm doing here. I'm just trying to love them as hard as possible, so that they know it every single second of their lives. That it might guide them to make the right choices. To be safe. To fly instead of fall.
So. . . all of that to say that this painting hits me hard on a deep level. Our children learn to fly from us. We prepare them for life outside our home. That is our purpose and calling as parents. And we have to have the faith that when the time comes, they will not fall. But fly. As they were meant to. As we've prepared them to their whole lives.
It's a leap of faith. And we have to have that faith with them.