Sometime around 3am last night, The Big Easy finally settled down to sleep. I lay awake in the dark behind more layers of locked and barred gates and doors than I have ever personally experienced next to the all that matters most to me-
My sleeping 17-year-old daughter.
She wants to leave me, you see, and I, like some kind of idiot, seem to be assisting her in the process.
Tulane has been wooing her with the sweetest of siren songs about IB and AP credits, financial aid, beignets…blah, blah, blah….
I can’t believe I used to love this city. Now, like some vengeful god of Mayan proportions, it is asking for the sacrifice of my baby girl.
What right does it have to ask? Did it pray for her as I did, begging God for a daughter? Did it weep with joy when the ultrasound tech announced a baby girl was growing safely in the dark, and muffled quiet of my womb? Did it nurse her at it’s breast? Wipe every tear? Did it cheer her on when she grew weary or rise up in terrifying anger to defend her when she was in danger?
How can I do this? How do I let her go? I don’t know how…
Motherhood is the strangest and sweetest of loves, breathed into fierce beauty by the very breath of God. These tiny, red, screaming, alien looking creatures are placed into our arms and we immediately proclaim them beautiful. Then we spend long days and sleepless nights for years and years pouring everything we have and are into them, all in preparation for the day of sacrifice-
The day when we lay our hearts on the altar, and let them go.