Thursday, February 4, 2010

Hi Guests: Grown Children

My daughter left a couple notes at their house for us when my husband and I stayed there recently. They were out of town but she made us feel so welcome.

I brought home one note and kept it on the kitchen counter for weeks, laughing at myself for treasuring it so. It said,

“Hi Guests! :) Hope you enjoy your stay. Eat anything you want. Love you!”

I kept thinking how silly I was to cherish it; I should throw it out. Why did it mean so much to me anyway? But I think I’ve figured it out.

That short note represents a job well done. We have come to a turning point in our relationship – from mother and child at home; to a grown daughter visiting as a guest in my home. And now the next step: we are guests in their home. The phrases I have always used, “Eat anything/use anything you want” now echo back to me in an open-hearted welcome from her.

Looking around at their pictures and d├ęcor while we were there, I got a strong sense of who they are as a couple and my heart swelled. I am proud that they have a place of their own and are making their way in the world. Their love for each other is evident; it echoes in every room, from the blending of their personal treasures, to notes and reminders on the refrigerator.

That is what I raised my daughter for, to be grown up. And while I miss her and hunger for more details about her life, I wouldn’t want to pull her back into childhood. This is good and right.

When she calls me just to connect I feel privileged and warmed. I love hearing about everything – her thoughts, feelings, goals, excitement, and concerns. And she is starting to show interest in mine as well - a true sign that she is indeed an adult.

Call me sentimental, but I think I’ll keep this note from my daughter the hostess in my journal, along with other treasures of my heart. It is a rite of passage that I cannot help but tuck away for safekeeping.

Beth Vice, February 2010

2 comments:

  1. Makes me cry, reading that. I've been looking back at old pictures of her growing up and having wonderful memories, but also proud of her for the things she's beginning to do as an adult. She's always wanted to take care of everyone and that was evident in her recent visit to Idaho to hang out with Launa. She is truly an adult now and I'm proud to have played a part in that.

    Tara's dad

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