I have now learned, this being the second of two “drop-off-daughter-to-college”
First, a brief and poorly executed (read “failed”) attempt at fatherly bravado soon followed, (approximately 8.4 seconds after beginning the drive away) by an absolutely fascinating and unmatched verbal explosion coming forth from somewhere deep within me… a spontaneous typhoon of emotion, unlike anything else I have ever experienced. A cacophony of sobs, snorts, sniffles… prompted by feelings that have somehow managed to force their way from the knot in my stomach past the basketball-sized lump in my throat to surface through tears, sighs and groans.
At least they are getting out. They need to.
This, in turn, is followed by a rather salty streak of cursing … rather blue and impressive, if I say so myself … words that seldom escape my lips, yet there they are.. in full force in this moment. Yet, somehow, I think God is cool with this. He understands. He’s been there & done that with the whole… “giving away your kid” thing. He gets it. And this, too, needs to get out.
And then, not timed– but when the time is right… all of this concludes, eventually, with a strange flood of overwhelming pride and peace and even excitement.. as a heart-soothing gratitude begins to settle the moment… buoyed by vivid memories and becoming strong through Spirit-led prayers of joy and thanksgiving that God chose me, of all people, to be “Dad” to these two incredible young women. And a thanksgiving, too, that God STILL lets me co–parent with a woman of such class, grace, wisdom and relational brilliance whose inner and outer beauty is so clearly passed on to her girls.
Kind of hard on a father, these initial moments of parting.
And kind of completely wonderful.
The intensity of emotion in these moments,for all parents, reveals the beauty and the pain, too, of the journey that has been taken the past 18 + years. It — again, the emotion — is a needed and deserved catharsis to the most challenging but most rewarding time of our lives.
And then… as one emerges from the initial emotional storm, you realize there is a gift to be opened, and you remember that it is time to do some flying yourself!
So… I lean to my wife, and I speak these words, feeling slightly younger than I did a few hours ago… “Here we go, Jana. Come fly with me again. Like we did 20+ years ago. Let’s fly again, my love.”