When my daughter was born over 20 years ago, I had some very specific prayers for her. I wanted her to be secure in her faith, secure in herself and to never lack anything from me, her father, which would cause her to seek it from someone else. As God planned it, she ended up the only female child set between two males, and her journey to adulthood has been more than fascinating to watch unfold. And God answered my prayers in a fashion that I could not have imagined. (Funny how that happens more often than not.) She is strong, confident and, as a bonus, beautiful (which wasn’t specifically prayed for but was no doubt subconsciously implied). In a logical extension of her development as a human, this past week my wife and I drove her to the airport in Atlanta so she could fly to Italy and begin an internship with an extension campus of Calvary Chapel Bible College, her alma mater. She will be in Montebelluna, near Venice, for several months, assisting the female students at the school, making herself available in whatever areas she is needed—physically as well as spiritually. I say all of this because a) I am quite proud of her and b) it is another step on the inevitable path toward her independence. You might be saying to yourself that she already sounds pretty independent and truer words have not been thought (or muttered if you happen to think out loud). What I am referring to is encased in undiluted selfishness: her independence from me. I know that there will always be a bond between us, that is the way of fathers and daughters, but I am incredibly sensitive to the dynamics of age and transitioning relationships, especially this year. With Hope’s mom in failing health, our youngest child a senior in high school, daughter leaving the country, oldest son chomping at the bit to make his own way, I am faced with examples of the flow of life every day. And it is both dazzling and numbing.

Much has been written about these types of transitions, countless books and articles by wordsmiths that put me to shame, but until you are here, living it out, it comes across as white noise, pretty words for someone else. I am here to tell you that it is real and I currently have so many windows snapping shut around me I am keeping my hands in my pockets for fear of losing a finger. So bear with me as I transition to “the Lord knows what” (and, thankfully, He does know) and occasionally use this forum to work through my angst and confusion. Blogger is so much cheaper than a therapist. And if I keep my fingers intact I should be able to pry open some new windows as they avail themselves, as they inevitably will.

BTW: You can follow my daughter’s newest journey and interesting life through her blog. I make stuff up, she doesn’t have to.


Steve Andrews said...

Wow. I too hear those window slamming. Italy . . . dang. Only been there once. I clearly remember skipping down a dark street in Rome singing "McDonalds is your kind of place . . ."; my "tourguide's" comment about a girl in yellow dress at the collisium; a monk in the Sistine Chapel saying "Man this blows me away". I sure hope her italian is better than yours.


Krista your Sista said...

A huge sigh from your little sister as her eldest surprised her this weekend with a trip home. Could have been his need for comfort after being dumped in a text or his need to see "the boys" home from other schools, but it was a joy to get to look him in the eyes know he is somehow making it without me. He will somehow become the adult I prayed he would become. I know, later rather than sooner, but the glimpse was nice.
Great words bro. I feel a bit of your pain, though not as many windows are closed yet.

Laura Jean said...

I love you. and thanks for everything.

your favorite daughter,