Cai's getting to be a good little driver.
i find i'm less apt to be clenching my seat, trying to cover that quick intake of breath, or pounding that imaginary brake with both feet on the passenger side that i sometimes found myself desperately wishing for.
She's more confident now, (& that's saying something considering she's a tiny girl driving a 12 passenger van). In a couple more months, she'll be ready to take her drivers test... and even though i'm so pleased for her and thrilled that she's doing so well, i have to say that *this* part of motherhood has terrified me! i can hardly believe that we're going to go through this 6 more times! It's not just the skills that my precious girl is still in the process of mastering - it's the lack of courtesy from other drivers on the road, the carelessness of others who don't know that my very heart is behind the wheel of that big rig, it's the swiftness with which an accident can occur that is turning me into an old fuddy duddy.
i know every stage of motherhood comes with a measure of this letting go... It starts with giving birth and having to let others paw on your fresh newborn who used to be tucked safely inside. Then, there's the stage where they learn to walk and they fall and bonk those big baldie heads on all sorts of hard things. There's also the stage where they're old enough to play at the park by themselves, or where they learn to ride a bike or swim independently. And honestly? It makes me ache this constant state of letting go - this running beside the bike while my wobbly child is hollering, "You can let go now, mama!!"
And i pry my fingers off - because this is what it's all about - the constant letting go - it's the secret heartbreak of motherhood.
A couple of weeks ago, Cai auditioned for the Calgary Fiddlers. It was a huge audition requiring months of practice. She had crazy hard scales to learn, songs that needed to be performed at breakneck speed - and their harmony parts needed to be learned off by heart too. She showed so much persistant maturity - finding the time to practice, stripping each piece down to it's hardest bars and nit picking until she had each piece of music learned. She has been looking forward to this audition for years - and the day of her audition, i stood in the hallway listening to her nail it... trying not to cry - so incredibly proud and hopeful all at the same time.
Within a few days, we learned that she didn't get in. The auditions were crazy competitive this year & they just didn't have a spot for her.
She walked up to me & showed me the email - & my eyes scanned it quickly & then turned to my girl. i tried to figure out the curve of her eyebrow, the expression on her face, the emotion in her eyes.
"i'm ok." She said simply.
And she was.
i let go.
During the next couple of days, i watched for heartbreak, for anger, for bitterness - and i found none. There was genuine disappointment - but over & above the disappointment, there was peace. She wrote the most beautiful letters to the directors, thanking them for investing in her these past years - and telling them how much their investment has paid off. She told them that she's leaving on a high note & that she couldn't be happier with the memories made & the life long skills she has acquired.
She let me read them and i cried.
i let go.
And the beauty with which she soared in grace and humility was breathtaking to me.
& so i'll let go, i'll let go, i'll let go.
They'll fly & fail, they'll surprise me, they'll surpass me, they'll grow...
i just gotta let go.