Navigating the river called parenting isn’t easy. When you were young, we laughed as we splashed in the babbling brook of life. We explored the shallows, marveled at the iridescent minnows, turned over rocks to find red salamanders, constantly curious and awed by our discoveries. I paddled through the current, steering you this way or that, always going in the direction I thought was best.
Time passed, and your urge to test your paddling skills grew… so, for a short while, we shared in the chore. Rains came, and the river widened and deepened. Storms billowed in the clouds overhead, rousing a choppy current that felt scary, even dangerous. The sun rose and calm returned. Such is life on the river.
I slowly came to the realization that it was time to step out of the canoe, hand over the paddle, allow you to navigate your own way. In that instant, the river’s name changed to Life, and it became yours. Sometimes, watching from the shoreline is excruciating. It is during those moments I force myself to remember that I did my very best during our together years to teach you when to battle the current, when to drift with it, and, if need be, how to swim. Most times, though, I am astonished by your strong, confident strokes, your keen sense of piloting.
You are on the right course, of this I am certain. I am confident in your ability to judge the ebb and flow of Life. I am sure you know your vessel, the strength of its keel, the weight of its anchor, the location of its grab rails, the cut of its wake. You’ve got this, come sunshine or squall.
I will try to relax, but I can’t promise to do so. I’m a parent, remember. And I love you. If you should ever need me, I am here. But in my heart, I know you have your bearing. I know you will find your flow and do well on this journey.