New Life

It seems a fitting topic on Easter eve to reflect on new life.  After all, the theme echoes through the resurrection, through Mother Nature and through the often daunting and ever timeless task of raising children.  My 17 year old daughter Elizabeth has been, her whole life, on the front lines of new life . . . leading me further along the path of loving and letting go.

She was the first to go to school, to go to ‘sleep-away’ camp and to become an ornery adolescent.  She has blazed the trail for her siblings and stepsiblings to follow.  And now, as if it wasn’t enough that she got her driver’s license (last year) and launched us intrepidly into the land of the college admissions process (this year), she has initiated another new rite of passage:  bringing a boyfriend to a family holiday celebration.

I am aware that this is the beginning of her life of choosing potential mates, traversing in and out of serious relationships.  Through the years, I imagine that I’ll meet some of her ‘significant others’ with enthusiasm, whereas with others, I’ll only be able to muster polite tolerance.  She has decades ahead to get her heart broken or to break another’s.

And so I watch my nuclear family gently expand to accommodate a newcomer.  I watch my daughter glow with her new found connection.  She wants nothing more than to claim her independence and move on with her life.  In the meantime, I adjust my compass and accept growth in our midst, mindful that with change, we each experience a taste of new life.

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