Letting go of the children (or, I’ve not got Alzheimers yet)

Kahil Gibran wrote that your children are not your children. Even as a student in the 1970s I recognised the truth in what he said. And it turns out, bringing up children is a series of letting goes, from taking your hands off the back of the two-wheeler bike to walking away on the first day of school and waving goodbye when they head off on their OE. However, for a while, both my girls were back and living here in the same city, until in the last year, their lives took them to settle in places several hours away. Which was another letting go even though they are now into their thirties.

I have two girls

but now they’re gone.

They’ve grown and flown and moved out of town.

I hear from them sometimes

though a week can go by

with no text or a call

but I know not to mind.

It means I needn’t worry

they’re mostly doing fine

they’re happy and busy and well.

While I’ve got places to go

and people to see

novels to read, music to play

and stories to write

in the good years I can count

that are left

so still quite a few

before they need to worry

and I may need to call on their help

and count on their care.