Tuesday, August 31, 2010

We All Move

My youngest daughter, 27, is moving to Florida today. It's an 866 mile journey. She's driving her Jeep; her friend is riding shotgun. Her boyfriend is driving the moving truck with his car attached to the back of it. Coming up the coast, maybe, is Hurricane Earle to meet them.

Parenthood is fraught with nervous expectation that your kids will: a) turn out okay; and, b) become successful. You don't want to think about - c) survive. At least not in the literal sense. But, when I decided to move, weather was the last thing on my mind.

When I moved up to Massachusetts in the beginning of 2006, I drove the 300 odd miles with a 12" snow storm following behind me. About two hours after I got to my new digs, taking Dixie out for a walk, it started to snow. During the entire trip it never occured to me that I could end up in serious trouble. I'm sure she's not thinking that way, either.

But I am. And I worry about it for her.

Maybe that's what happens when you age; or maybe it's what happens when you think more about others, especially your kids, than you do about yourself. I almost always feel like I can control the things going on in my life; I have confidence in myself to be able to get out of any situation. When I found out I had prostate cancer it never occured to me that I might die. I knew I just had to deal with it, keep moving on and everything would work out.

I guess we always remember our kids as when they were little, vulnerable and needed our protection. We want to take care of them and make them always be okay. I think it is harder to let go emotionally than it is physically. The emotional attachment is stronger than anything. It is a tie that binds forever, maybe even longer than forever; maybe into infinity.

In late July, when my daughter came up to visit, we had a good time. Standing in the airport at visit's end, I said to her, "Thanks for coming up. honey." She replied, "you're welcome, dad." I said, "I love you, sweetheart." And she said, "I love you too, daddy." And then she was gone.

Today she's going even farther. It's 1,270 miles from here to where she's moving. The physical distance increases yet its effect is not as great as how the emotions of it affect me. I told her - anything goes wrong; you need me, all you have to do is call and I will be there. Forever. Maybe even longer than that.