I just realized the other day that my oldest daughter and I successfully navigated the waters of life learning at home and that she is now beginning a new phase of her life, possibly away from home! Amber turned 18 last week. What a weird and beautiful thing.
As I sat with her at her LAST ever homeschooling evaluation, and listened to her speak about her experience and what she wants and where she thinks she might be going, I had just a tiny passing moment of panic. For a split second I thought, "Oh my God...did I prepare her? Did I teach her all she needs? Will she be successful?" The thoughts didn't have time to really develop or take hold because my next thoughts were, "She is so brilliant and talented and amazing. Look at her confidence and ease in expressing herself. I can't wait to see what she does next!"
Having walked this path from start to "finish" (I use that word loosely...we're never finished) with one of my children, I feel like I can stand back and see a full picture and draw from that experience. It's really interesting to be parenting children at both ends of the spectrum (and some in between).....one (3yo James) who is just beginning his amazing adventure of life and learning and one (18yo Amber) who has kind of come to the end of one phase of life. What's even more interesting is that they are both kind of in the same place. They are both wide-eyed, excited, afraid, reluctant, impulsive, and innocent. They are both looking to me for guidance and wisdom.
I can feel Amber pulling away, longing to fly and create her life on her own...while still holding on to my hand and the safety of our home and her life within it. And, as usual, I will simply be here, loving her, listening to her, giving guidance when it's wanted, waiting for her to take whatever step she will take, follow whatever passion she will follow, and giving her that absolute promise that I have no expectation of what she should do next.
I'm so excited to continue this adventure with her and to watch what she creates.