12 February 2013

Grown Up

It has been a Good Day. A Great Day in fact. It has been Excellent. My day has been mostly full of schools - Nepalese schools full of beautiful children. I have seen many happy and smiling faces. Full of Yearning. For Learning. 

The day started early. It started with a Graduation for Aishworya. Aishworya is the eldest daughter of my Nepalese friend Bhim. It was a very proud moment for the whole family and for me. It was very hard earned. I have watched her study tirelessly for this for the past three years.

Then I spent the rest of the day at the Snowland School. It is a school in Kathmandu that is mainly for Tibetan Buddhist children who come from extremely remote villages that are very high in the Himalaya. There are one hundred and forty three students there at present. These children both live and study at the school. They leave their villages and move away from their families. The children are as young as five. They move to Kathmandu purely to get an Education.

I chatted away all day to these children and we sang and we danced as well. The children tried to teach me Nepalese. They thought my terrible pronunciation was hysterical and we laughed a lot. My Nepalese is terrible. I am Australian. We are not good at languages - even English. The day was fun.

It was great fun.

Aishworya is now a Young Adult and she has decided that she is going to be a Nurse. She will be a good Nurse too for she is very caring and nurturing by nature. My children are now too. Young Adults that is. They are also caring and nurturing too.




Tom is twenty so he is now a man. My baby Charlotte is seventeen. Seventeen! Her birthday was yesterday and I wasn't there. 


She told me that she forgives me for not being there. 


She always does. 

Forgive me. 

Again and again.

Charlotte is in her final year of school. She sometimes sends me her essays. They are beautiful. They are spectacular in fact. She throws together words in a way that has Melody and Meaning. They Resonate. Her essays Sing.

They really do. She tells me that she wants to be a Writer and I tell her that I think that she already is.

Tom is a man but he is still my boy. He still is a boy in many ways. He is also often a Dick. Tom is a Gardener. He has always loved Plants and he likes the sun and the beach. He likes the Outdoors and he likes Dirt. Tom has always liked Dirt. He likes mud as well.

Just add Water. 

Tom loves animals and they like him as well. He has always bought home strays. He attracts them and nurtures them. They have mostly been cats but he has also rescued the odd puppy. He once bought home a chicken and a snake. Tom is good with small children too. They seem to adore him. He drives now. Actually Charlotte legally drive now as well. Shit. That is scary. Both my children seem happy though. I think this is Good and it’s the main thing isn't it? It is what every parent wants for their children.

Here is my Tom in Nepal with some holy men. He is the one without the dreadlocks!

When children become adults they are still your children. This realization that your children have Grown Up is a strange phenomena. It is one that takes some getting used to.

There are emotional conflicts with this realisation. Big Ones. There is a sense of pride but there is also a sense of loss as well. Hope resides there with Fear. It is a tough and sometimes dangerous world out there that has wars and bombs and earthquakes and tsunamis. So there is worry and there is pain. There is always worry and pain in parenting. There is great Joy too though. There is more Joy than anything else.

Much more.

However there is some sense of acceptance in this realisation as well. It resides amongst all this mix of emotions. There is reflection as well. We have all been at this juncture. This becoming an Adult. It is a Big Moment. I remember what it was like to feel this all-grown-up emotion when I was my children's age. It was a time of freedom and confidence and greatness.

It was Special.

The need to protect your child does not diminish as they become adults. It doesn’t diminish at all. It is instinctive I think to protect them. 

At any Cost. 

At all Cost. 

However  there is a letting go of sorts - by us of them and by them of their childhoods. The realization that you won't be quite as close to them anymore is a wistful emotion. There is a little ache knowing and accepting that you won't be right beside them any longer - to catch them if they fall. You can only trust now that you taught them to stand strong and to stand up again if they get knocked down. To keep standing up. We all get knocked down at times. Rising is more noble than falling.

It is more difficult too.

These letting goes are both sad and happy. It is both winning and losing. These feelings will ultimately neutralize each other and then you are just left with Hope.

Hope that they can make their own way out there and that everything will be alright. 

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