Story by Elizabeth Spencer
Now, I follow you.
At first, I carried you. Then I walked beside you. Then I followed close behind. But now, I follow you from some distance. I’ve dropped back to where I belong at this particular mile marker of your journey.
Now, it’s time for you to take the lead and for me to trust I protected you well enough when I carried you and when we walked side-by-side for you to feel secure out in front.
But I’m still here, and that helps us both. I’m a few miles back, watching you do your thing. Watching you choose, navigate, figure out. You are capable, careful, and considerate. It is a privilege to see.
As an observer of your life, I am not displaced; I am in the right place. I’m a text or a phone call or a FaceTime chat or, sometimes, an overnight drive away. Letting you go gradually is what helps you do it well and me to do it at all.
This is love that has loosened its grip. This is love that will always hold on, just more loosely. This is love that has an open palm outstretched, in case you need to grab onto it again.
This is love still at the ready, so that if you say, “Are you coming, mama?” as often as possible, for as long as possible, my answer will be, “Yes, I’m coming. I’ll be there soon.”