And yet the excitement and energy of independence is flowing through her veins as they did some thirteen years ago.
Of my three, she is the child most self-assured. The last of my three babies, the one I hoped to hold the longest was the one who didn't like to be coddled. Wiggle and squirm, until set loose.
Her first episode of autonomy at the young age of six. Bent stick in hand, a bandanna tied to the tip. weighed down by its contents: a change of shirt, underwear, a stuffed animal from the fair, and a can of peas. She stated she was leaving. Brought on by the insistence of a clean room.
She made it as far as one trip around the subdivision block. Home in tears.
Her first day of elementary school, was not to be shared. Not only was I working and she in daycare, she did not need me there. She was all grown up and didn't want the kids to think she couldn't go it alone.
And now, she is a little further than that.
She is independent, she is strong, she is oozing will power and self-determination. And yet-------
She has called nearly every day.
Not because she needs me. She is faring well.
She calls because she wants to share this new step in her life with me.
The older she got, the more she cuddled. It could have been the divorce, or just life's challenges but she never lost her autonomy.
I feel blessed. My children turned out ok. I feel proud, they are all upstanding adults. And I feel humbled, they all converse with me on a regular basis- Because they want me to be a part of it all.