This morning my wife and I watched my daughter’s airplane disappear into a distant cloud. After having spent last week at Camp Kasota West, Megan is now off visiting my in-Laws on Vancouver Island. It’s odd, in some ways, as my 8 1/2 year old is becoming increasingly independent, just at a time when we are preparing for the arrival of our next child, who will be anything but in those first years. Needless to say, it’s mixed emotions, and hoping that my daughter enjoys the coming week.
I think nothing so demonstrates the constant reality of change in life as watching children grow up. Very often I’ve heard the saying “they grow up so fast…” voiced as a lament. Admittedly, I felt a bit of that this morning, and I expect that I will be feeling more of that as she gets older.
Yet I think while I am her parent, and currently her guardian, and perhaps a guide, she’s not my property. At some point I do have to let her go in order for her to grow. Yes, it’s small steps right now, but it’s not for me to determine how she will grow, or even what she will grow into. Rather, it is for me to provide her with the best possible environment for her to grow, but not to determine for her what that will be. It might mean that she may make choices that I don’t like or approve of, but that’s the risk of letting her become her own person.
There are some powerful metaphors here for life within the church and how we deal with change… and maybe I’ll reflect on them soon. For right now, I’ll just be a Dad. 🙂