Barring tragedy, one thing all kids do, whether you like it or not, whether you are watching or not, is grow up. They do that. One day you are swearing at your husband and the nurses and your irreverent hyperactive ob/gyn while trying like hell to get that baby born, and then you blink and she’s 18. I swear this is true.
Some of you, astonishingly, have been reading this blog so long you remember my eldest from when she was a wee little kindergartener just making her way in a world carefully arranged and circumscribed to nurture and protect her. You have watched Tigger grow up, but perhaps you are still as surprised by it as I am.
And a thing that happens when they grow up is they start directing their own lives. You know, the life you have patiently orchestrated all this time. No, they don’t particularly appreciate your efforts and no, they don’t necessarily make the artistic or aesthetic or rational choices you would have made if you were still in charge. But you’re not.
So it came to pass that Tigger yanked the reins out of my hands and turned those horses down a completely different path. (Have I tortured enough metaphors yet? No, I don’t think so.) My path was paved, straight, and lined with trees and sunflowers. Tigger took those brave ponies up a winding trail, steep, rocky, beset with tripping vines and perils behind every bush. She did that.
My previously full house is now down to two inhabitants (four if you count the cat and the bunny). Tigger’s room, recently so crammed full of flagrantly unorganized stuff that I hadn’t seen the floor in years, is now nearly empty.
See, I’ve been stuck, recently, though I’m making progress in unsticking. But Tigger, she’s not stuck at all. The young never are. Gone, yes. Loved, very. Missed, so much. But not stuck. Put wings on those ponies and fly, baby. Or walk or run or dance up the trail. You can do anything. Anything.