This past weekend, Gracie and I had a mother daughter date. It doesn’t happen often, which makes it all the more special. A chance to connect just the two of us. It was a day mostly about Gracie anyway. In the morning we went to a cookie booth with her girl scout troop and I got to watch her as she smiled and interacted with customers. She would quickly add up the total in her head and collect the money. It astounds me every time that my oldest child reaches a new milestone.
The thrill of delight that I feel as I note a new kind of maturity. A new depth to her. It brings on the swelling in my chest, the tightness in my throat, and the tear to my eye that I can only associate with the pride of motherhood. Nothing else in my life creates this same feeling.
But on to our mother daughter date. We decided that we would go roller skating together for our outing. Gracie and I both enjoy roller skating, and because she is still learning, it is frustrating to go with the whole family Tommy usually ends up rangling the twins, and Ava and Gracie have to take turns getting my help learning to skate around the rink.
This time she had me all to herself. We held hands as we glided along the the music. At first I mostly held her up as she leaned on my arm. Around and around we skated, more experienced skaters zooming around us. But little by little our hands relaxed, with only an occasional squeeze and jolt from a near fall.
A few times I would suggest that she try all on her own. She did, but would fall and want to skate together some more.
Towards the end of the night I grinned and held my breath as Gracie slowly released my hand and we drifted just a little apart from one another. We skated side by side.
I thought. This is the perfect analogy for parenthood. You support and guide. Releasing the pressure little by little. Allowing more freedom a bit at a time. Sometimes they fall, but they know you are there….and then, they let go.