Okay, okay…it does feel like a sequel to my earlier snapshots during important milestones in our daughter, Srishti’s life. To go back in time you may want to read my thoughts when she turned a teen here http://gurusanjay.blogspot.com/2007/04/parenting-keeping-your-kite-flying-high.html and when she turned 18 here http://gurusanjay.blogspot.com/2013/01/parenting-now-what-to-do-when-your.html
So what prompted me to revisit my analogy of flying kite and my experience as a parent…she just turned 21 last month. Over the period of last three years she has moved out of our home and started living by herself in her college campus at Rutgers University, NJ. I am still very proud of the fact that she managed to get a full scholarship to take care of all her expenses for her four years’ stay in college. However, I painfully realized that she has been spending more and more time away from me…although her college campus is less than one hour drive from our home, her home! At times, I don’t get to see for a couple of months!!!
Is my pain justified or should I be proud of the fact that she has become an adult or can I be both pained and proud??? After all, she is trying to find her own rhythm in life with study pressure to get admitted in a medical school to become a doctor, mundane jobs, hobbies, BFFs (Best Friend Forever for the uninitiated!), and boyfriends…not in any particular order!
Back to the kite analogy, I feel good that my kite is still flying high but when I don’t see it visually then I feel unsure and may be a little concerned. During these three years, she has made certain decisions which were against my wishes but that is okay. She is big girl now and does understand what is good and bad in life. Yes, I did want my kite to fly in one way and the kite went to another. It may be the winds at that height or may be the kite has metamorphosed into a bird with its own mind and does not want to be attached to me anymore!!!
I will have to wait and see if this kite has become a bird. I think that my not seeing Srishti is like my kite going behind the clouds at times and I don’t see it. It doesn’t mean that she is gone away from me, it just means that her life’s rhythm has taken her away for a while. I know that my love towards her (the string which keeps my kite flying in the sky) is as strong as ever.
Whether a kite or bird, one thing I am absolutely sure is that she has found her own place in the sky. She loves life and I am sure that she will have a great one. How much of that she shares with me is her choice. I have a sense of satisfaction that as a parent I provided her my best and what she makes of it is now her call. I am not the one who is going to pull the string and bring the kite forcefully back to myself.
I will always look lovingly at the sky and hopefully see her owning a piece of it. Every time she comes back to me, I will give her a big hug, spend some good time with her and then watch her go back to the sky. The sky that we both share with rest of the humanity, yet carve out a piece for ourselves. My joy and my pride would be to see her fly higher than I ever could in my life. Hey, isn’t that what parenting is all about???