Trust 30: Entry Sixteen

Wholly Strange and New by Bridget Pilloud
When good is near you, when you have life in yourself, it is not by any known or accustomed way; you shall not discern the foot-prints of any other; you shall not see the face of man; you shall not hear any name;—— the way, the thought, the good, shall be wholly strange and new. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Can you remember a moment in your life when you had life in yourself and it was wholly strange and new? Can you remember the moment when you stopped walking a path of someone else, and started cutting your own?

Write about that moment. And if you haven’t experienced it yet, let the miracle play out in your mind’s eye and write about that moment in your future.
(Author: Bridget Pilloud)

Two months ago, we (wife and myself) walked my youngest child through a trying time, dealing with issues that we all have to deal with as we keep moving forward toward our goal of growing up. (What we eventually realize is, but not at 19 years old, we never stop growing up but we, hopefully, have more ammo from experience to deal with the struggles.) It was a particularly arduous few weeks, requiring my wife and I to invest quite a bit of emotional energy in helping him successfully walk through it. Toward the end, as issues were clearing up and the situation was finding closure, I was talking to him on the phone and realized that I was done. That the most recent circumstance was a marker and it was time to let go. I can’t pinpoint any one reason I sensed this—maybe it was his voice and the confidence he exuded, or maybe it was his overall calm demeanor—but I knew that we had just experienced our final push together. I was surprised, not that it happened, but more at the timing. There was no warning; it arrived unannounced.

This has happened with my other children as well but what made this moment feel so real was that it happened with our youngest child. I couldn’t nod in approval and quickly turn my focus on the next child because there wasn’t a next child, he was it. I understand that I will never be completely done with my kids, there will always be situations they roll into and advice that will be freely given (even now I am encouraging and advising them on major decisions), but there is a moment when you don’t have to pull and cajole (as much) and you actually feel confident that they don’t need you to use your muscle for them to be successful. The hand you’ve been using to grab their shirt and keep them upright (or smack them in the head) can now be used for a pat on the back.

The moment is both liberating and sad but mainly liberating. It is the ultimate moment of no longer walking a path of someone else, although walking their path has had a lot to do with cutting my own; the trails are very intertwined and rightfully so. Currently I am sharpening my machete and loading up on bug spray, prepping and anticipating where my path will veer. Hopefully I will still be able to hear the kids hacking away at theirs...

#Trust30 is an online initiative and 30-day writing challenge that encourages you to look within and trust yourself. Find out more at http://ralphwaldoemerson.me

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