Are we there yet?


Daniel: Are we there yet?
Sally: No
Daniel: Are we there yet?
Sally: No
Daniel: Are we there yet?
Sally: No 

No you're not there yet but one day you will be and we'll say good-bye. 

Being a parent is learning to say goodbye. Goodbye to the child we knew and hello to the person who is becoming. We're always unprepared for these moments because our energy has been so absorbed with dealing with the stage before. In turn we are changed and taken to places we never imagined both spiritually and emotionally. 

There are distinct moments of farewell; first day of pre-school when you are astonished that your child can get through an entire day without your help. First day of school often has more parents crying than kindergarten children. It is hard to believe that your smiling five year old can bounce off and make a world of new friends. 

Adolescence is characterised by a constant series of push and pull as hormones and mood swings test parents, teachers and family. There are many new adventures and new horizons which thrill your teenager and horrify any thinking adult. We know they'll get there but some days it seems like you may not survive the journey. 

But an hour will come when they will arrive and like all great moments of love it will be unexpected and life changing. I love this poem by Carmel Bendon Davis which explores that moment. 


Go to Gate 25.
Now boarding.
A kiss, a clutching hug,
As if my arms can absorb your essence.
"Be safe; please call when you get there."
"Yes, Mum. Don't worry. Love you. Gotta go."
And you do. Smiling. Your step light with freedom.
And I stand, silently watching you go,
Wondering … at the speed of life.

A summer's day.
Early, the sky already pink with promise 
Of heat and a never-ending childhood.
On the morning grass a tea-party is arranged.
Daughters, dolls, teddy bears in attendance.
And I, always the guest of honour,
Put a muddy teacup to my lips
And say, "This is delicious. Any more?"
There was always more then.

A sigh, a shrug.
I stand forever, staring after your disappearing form,
Then turn with resignation towards the carpark.
Outside, a blue sky stretches wide in welcome of your flight.
Life hums and bustles round me,
Pushing me forward, away from you.
A roar overhead, a glisten of silver in the sun,
And you're uplifted 
And carried to your destiny.

– Dr Carmel Bendon Davis