Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Letting Go

My daughter suddenly grew up.  It was the driver's license that changed everything.  In a matter of days she had her license, a full-time job, and a car.  And she drove off into the future.

Arielle has always been determined, focused and self-assured.  Once driving became her goal, she worked hard to achieve it.  She drove beside me for almost a full year, back and forth to co-op--a 40 minute drive each way--and every other place we went.  We talked endlessly of different traffic situations.  She endured my exclamations (sometimes shouted):  "Slow down!  Watch out!  Stop!"  She learned.  She earned her license.  

Arielle knew the job at the book warehouse was a summer possibility--good pay, flexible days, and full-time hours.  (Forty hours a week is hard to come by for a teenager.)  The warehouse is also far from home.  But one afternoon she applied for the job on-line.  Someone called her the next day and she quickly had an interview and was hired.  She has already worked a week.  I thought maybe it would be overwhelming for her--the drive, the long days. But no, she likes it!  Arielle has always thrived on busy-ness and people.  

I didn't know it but Fred was waiting for a reason to buy his dream car--this time a jeep.  So when Arielle got the job and would be needing a car, he got his jeep.  His old Honda is now Arielle's.  She immediately cleaned it out and made it her own, stockpiling it with all her personal items.  Even before the warehouse job, she started driving to her cleaning job all by herself, another long drive in the opposite direction.  She is filling in for Gretchen working for an elderly couple while Gretchen has some weeks with her newborn.  So for now, Arielle will be working six days a week.  She isn't home. I miss her already.  Letting go is hard for me.

My little Arielle.  This morning I went downstairs with her as she was leaving for work at 7 a.m.  She had her coffee, her lunch and her backpack.  I kissed her good-bye and just for old times' sake I yelled out, "Slow down!"  She laughed and drove off with her newly found freedom.   

I think of Fred long ago lifting Arielle into her car seat in his big truck.  She was only three when he took her to preschool Tuesday and Thursday mornings.  I would wave and pray for her safe return.  She was my baby, going off into the world.  It was hard to let her go.  At three she was so bold and confident, off on an adventure, never looking back.  So I pray now, as then, that God's favor would be her shield as he guides her into the future, unknown to me, but fully known to him.  I'm grateful for the privilege of being the mother of this amazing girl. 

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