giving our kids wings - and wanting to clip them at the same time

So lately a lot of people have been waving their daughters goodbye at the airport.  First a year ago Jess took up a fantastic position in CT as a professional chef.  Then my BFF's daughter moved to Kazakhstan several weeks ago to be with her fiance'.  Yesterday a close friend of mine bid her daughter farewell as she moved to the UK to chase a future there.  

So many moms and daughters.  So many dads and daughters.  So many siblings bidding each other farewell at airports. 

Which made me think of the saying which goes roughly like we give our kids roots to grow and then we give them wings to fly.  That sucks.  The roots to grow bit is fun ... they around all the time, even when they drive you crazy sometimes.  Then the wings to fly part comes - great sentiment ... awful feeling. We want them to fly, but would prefer it if they do it within a 20km radius of their childhood home. 

When I commented to my hubby that at least our child was still in SA, he wisely replied that it does not matter whether your child moves to another province or another country, if they are not home to kiss goodnight or to be around with you on weekends etc, then it is the same.  And the flippant thought that she is just 2 hours away by plane makes no difference.  I have friends whose kids that live overseas have been home several times over the past year, as much or more than my daughter has been.  As Eug says - when they are more than 500 kms away then there is no popping over. Unless free flights get handed out randomly.

The UK child and my child moved literally a year or so out of matric, which means that we had them around as schoolkids and for a year after, and then they were gone.  I miss the chunk that I missed out on inbetween.  To have time with her as a working girl.  But then I think of a girl who decided in gr 3 what she wanted to do as a career one day and stuck to that faithfully. Studying hard, graduating top of her class and working her way religiously into a fantastic position, for which she sweated and worked incredible hours and very much deserves.  And siblings that are joined at the hip - these goodbyes take their toll. I know how her brother misses her, and she him. 

But these kids take on a new home, new jobs, new circumstances, they feed themselves, do their own laundry and make their own way.  They sort out their SARS registrations, their bank accounts and their many other responsibilities. They do us proud.  And remind us "mom don't baby me".

This year I have made a conscious decision that by hook or by crook we will see each other more.  We have Skype ... strangely enough we have only done so twice since she moved 15 months ago.  We do Whatsapp, every day .... first message at 7am and last one after midnight.  During the day we sometimes get one quick one .... as a chef the restaurant consumes her all day so she cannot get time for saying hi, and that means her passion as a chef is first for her which is fantastic. 

So to the moms and dads and siblings out there that kiss their daughters goodbye (or sons) on a regular basis ...... we are a unique club.  We gave them wings ..... how brave we are ..... perhaps more so than them.  

Jess 21st 



till soon 
c'est la vie xxxx

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