July is almost over and, with it, another round of Camp NaNoWriMo. Don’t ask me why I signed up to do it a second time, but I did, and I’ve just hit my word count goal – yay!
Over two months of writing – April and July Camp – I’ve ended up with 50,000 words and the bones of a vampire novel, Silver and Black. It’s taken some interesting turns, and I think it might turn out to be a not so bad story. But now I need to let it rest for a few weeks, while I focus on other things. (sorry Sacha!)
For it is school holidays, and I have a gorgeous girl at home with me. She’s still young enough that she wants to hang out with me, but I’m under no illusion that these days of cosy companionship are numbered, so I’ll take them while I can get them. She’s already starting to spread her wings and I’m having to step back and let her fly, remembering the words of Kahlil Gibran:
‘You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth… Let your bending in the Archer’s hand be for gladness; for even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.’
I don’t doubt that we will always be close, but it is just that the level of closeness will change. All too soon she will want her own time, her own friends, her own way of doing things, and I just have to hope I’ve given her enough grounding that she can make sensible, capable decisions for herself. I guess that’s what most parents would want.
When they are small and into everything, and you feel as though you will never ever get another moment to yourself, you look ahead to a time when they can do things for themselves, recalling vaguely how it felt to sit and read, or take a long shower uninterrupted, or go out whenever you feel like it. Yet now, as she approaches that independence, I find myself looking back to precious hours full of games and whispered confidences and small chubby hands, and I count my blessings that I was able to experience them with her.
I can have no more children – that’s just how it is for me. But I’ve been lucky to have one; many who want to are denied even that. So for now, I’m going to make the most of it.
And I remain the stable bow while she is the arrow that flies.
That’s beautiful, Helen. It doesn’t stop, though. It changes… but when they choose to count you as a friend, that too has its own beauty.
Thanks, Sue, that’s lovely – and very heartening to hear 🙂
Lovely. So lovely. And yes to what Sue said.
Thanks Angelika. I love that everyone is agreeing with Sue’s comment 🙂 It just reminds me how much more there is to look forward to. And there is a part of me that’s ready for change, definitely.
Sue is spot on. Eventually you stop being to do anything to help them except keep up the unconditional love and that helps greatly.
Thanks, Geoff 🙂 It’s so nice, as I’ve commented to others, hearing from everyone that the process continues, even though change is inevitable. It’s very heartening. And the unconditional love is a given, definitely 🙂
What a beautiful post and ditto to Sue’s comment. Parenting is a constant letting go, but if we’ve done our job well, our children will return. I think they’re more like boomerangs than arrows!
I’m sure you’ve given your daughter a sturdy launch pad from where she can take off and soar. x
Thanks Louise 🙂 And haha to the boomerang comment, I know my brother and I were a bit guilty of that before we settled down. It’s lovely to hear that things are still good further along in the process, and I’m trying to count my blessings, rather than focusing on what is changing 🙂
I agree with Sue – every age has its beauty. They change fast, so you have to enjoy each stage – but they all have things to enjoy!
Thank you – it’s so lovely hearing from other people who’ve gone through this. I have enjoyed each stage so far, and I know there’s more to come – thanks for the reassurance 🙂
Congratulations on completing Camp NaNoWriMo, Helen. That’s some mighty feat and you seem to have done it whilst still continuing to blog. Now, have some fun. 😀
Thanks, Hugh – I plan to 🙂 Hope your writing is going well xx
I’ve never read the quote before, but it’s beautiful. I’m at the opposite end of your story, and it is beautiful and sad at the same time. We spend diminishing amounts of quality time together, but she has her own life too.
Thanks Craig 🙂 And that’s the perfect way to describe it, beautiful and sad – I can only imagine it gets more so. Makes me think a little more about my own parents now.
The relationship changes, but it always grows!
Thanks Mick 🙂 I’m so glad to hear all these lovely sentiments from everyone.
I love that quote! Two of my three have entered the teen years, with the third only months away. We’ve just returned from our family vacation where I wanted to savor those moments that were spent in shared laughter (because there are also plenty of moments that are not).
I am beginning to understand how my parents felt when I was a teen and never wanted to be home. It is an interesting cycle, but a cherished one.
Thank you 🙂 Yes, absolutely – I am totally starting to understand what my parents went through with us, and I appreciate them even more now. It’s a great lesson in itself, and definitely a cherished cycle of life, as you say.
I do enjoy The Prophet – we had the reading On Marriage at our wedding – I just find it to be full of wisdom and wonderful language, all at once 🙂
Outrageous. Letting it rest indeed. Okay, FINE whatever. Your post almost made me weepy so I’ll allow mother bonding time :p :p please don’t say they fly…. its too soon. It will always be too soon!
Just for a few weeks, Sacha – just while I finish the edit on A Thousand Rooms, and figure out the structure issue I’m having with Under Stone – then I’ll go back to it again.
And yes, it’s always too soon. But you have to let them fly eventually – I’m just working on accepting that now 🙂
Awesome progress made with your book. Congrats on that. Also I’m a parent now as well, but I can only hope to be what you are to your daughter; like bow and arrow. Nice post, Helen.
Hi Anthony! Congrats on becoming a parent – it’s a whole new world, isn’t it? And I’m sure you’ll be everything to her 🙂 Thanks for your comment, both about the book and the post – glad you enjoyed it x
Aw, I just saw the photo, Anthony – he’s gorgeous! Arrow to your bow 🙂
Thanks so much, Helen! I’m sleep deprived, but I love the little guy more and more everyday 😍
Kids are the best! And you’ll sleep again, one day 😉😀