Saturday, March 2, 2013

When did she grow up?

I took Jordan for her second "driving lesson" this afternoon.

And here's the problem...she was good.

I'm forty years old, and that doesn't bother me. I also don't mind my children getting older. As cute as they were as babies, they're a lot more fun now. We go places, we do things, we can speak intelligently with each other...well, they are teenagers...intelligence is one thing, rationality is another, I guess.

But driving, that's different.

Driving is a step into the adult world. I thought I was ready for this, but I'm not. I thought this would be a longer process, I didn't think we'd get here so quickly. I thought I would hold her hand a little longer. I was prepared for white knuckles and tension headaches. I was ready for jerky starts and running over curbs. But she drove well. She drove competently. She accelerated and braked when she was supposed to. She made all the correct turns. She followed the rules.

She needed me less than I thought she would.

Driving is a step toward independence. It's a step toward dating and courtship (a VERY SMALL STEP, let's be clear on that point). It's a step toward leaving. From the day our children are born, they are moving toward that day when they leave home behind, and move on and create their own lives. I know this and I accept it, but why did it come so fast?

I've been moving to the wings for years, as Jordan takes center stage in her own life, and the truth is, I love the view from here. I've known Jordan was special from the first time I looked into those big, blue eyes. She is my artist and my writer. My poet and my soul searcher. It is my great luck to share the stage with her, for the little time I have. It is my joy to have a front row seat to watch her become all that I know she is going to become.

It is my privilege to be her father.

I want Jordan to go out into the world, and set it on fire. I want her to share her beautiful soul with those unlucky enough not to have met her yet. I want her to know what I know about her -- what she can only know through independence -- that she is strong. That she is capable. That she is smart. That she is rare. That she is precious.

That she is a diamond.

But, I don't want her not to need me.

Not quite yet...

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