Watch Out World! OR The Remarkable Journey of my Oldest Daughter

Parenting four children was not something I ever planned. And yet, after having children, my life is forever changed.

And each of my children amaze me in different ways-every single day! So different from each other, from me, from where I was at their age. Parenting is not for the weak! I have learned from my children and from my many mistakes, and I have learned concepts of patience, grace, and have been able to look upon my own parents with adult eyes.

I have watched each grow from an infant sleeping in my shoulder’s crook to adults entering the world. First the eldest son, then my second son, and now my eldest daughter.

Though I had not planned them, upon the boys leaving later, a story occurred to me. At different moments, different times, the analogies came to me, a dedication or “sending off letter” of sorts.

And yet, for you my oldest daughter, upon witnessing your immeasurable independence, you flew away with arms wide, a Phoenix prospering, and I watched… treasuring each moment in my heart.

Though I couldn’t come up with the wittiest, perfect analogy to describe you, but ALWAYS, in my mind, I said over and over, “Watch out world!”

Wherever your path leads, you are a leader and a force with a will of iron and resolve and knowledge which you have learned through hard work and harder experiences. You had become an independent woman to be reckoned with!

But with that constant Watch Out World I also felt a hole. A physical hole, like I envisioned the scene in Death Becomes You. My heart ached for you, for the desire to be near you; with pride in your independence and drive.

And then, upon your departure for your junior year of college, in the midst of a crazy world, I have come to understand that hole, and also the fact that it has been filled! A hole because I realized I was no longer needed.

Though now I realize the hole in my heart has been Being filled all along, filled, as I watch you grow and learn and go forth into this world—gentle as the lamb but bold as the wolf.

My heart is filled with joy at seeing you grow to be the independent, beautiful, knowledable, amazing artist and person—with a great sense of humor—keep Humor always!

And remember the teachings you have learned, and when you are older, they will lead you and guide you at every turn.

And when you do need me, I am thankful you call upon me for advice and help. I could ask for nothing more!

I love you Leah with all of my hear!

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