Today when #1 strode away from me and without looking back stepped over that threshold, he crossed an important boundary, his own personal Rubicon. Although I could no longer see him, I stood at the windows and looked toward where I thought he must be. Odd how parent-child relationships evolve. How many times have he and I rehearsed this scene but played opposite roles? I recall vividly when #1 was only a year old he would prop himself up against our storm door, hands placed firmly apart for stability, and cry whenever I left even for the shortest of errands. Countless times I stopped halfway down the drive and pulled back, plucked him up, pirouetted back to the car, and took him with me.
Today, he’s the one leaving while I stand pressing my fingers lightly on the cool glass. I am not crying though part of me misses the little boy #1 is no longer. Yet a larger part of me swells with a sense of pride as I watch #1 mature and confront new challenges with equanimity and grace. I enjoy watching him develop a sense of independence and freedom. I savor his growing self-confidence.
Today his mannerisms and chattiness betrayed an apprehension he tried to hide. As the day wore on, however, he relaxed. This afternoon I watched a newly confident, imperceptibly larger boy disappear into the jetway. The woman next to me remarked: “He looks brave.” “Ya,” I nodded, “he does.” And then I thought: “iacta alea est.”