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This, My Latest January of Life - Tabith Grace

This, My Latest January of Life - Tabith

This, My Latest January of Life By Tabitha Grace Once upon a time, when we humans were more connected to our physical environment, March marked the beginning of a new year. March, when grass sprouts anew, trees put out fresh leaves, and flowers pop their heads above the soil. It makes sense. March is when life begins again. But something new doesn’t begin without something else ending. That’s what I like about the origins of our “January”: Janus, the two-headed Roman god of beginnings, transitions, and endings. Janus watches what has passed and what is coming. The death of what was and the birth of what is to come. He marks the passage of time. I’m in a January of life. We have many such moments: Our transition from high school to adulthood. Marriage. The birth of our first child. The death of a parent. Many such moments. And most of them, in their own special way, are exhilarating and terrifying both. This January of my life is so full of both emotions that I sometimes fear I will burst. My daughter – my only daughter and my oldest child, is fifteen. She has a driver’s permit and a boyfriend with a driver’s license. She is no longer firmly in my grasp. In fact, she sometimes seems barely in my grasp at all. I look back on what has passed with considerable grief. She is not a child. She still needs me but she doesn’t need me. Not like she used to. I look toward the future and she’s not there much. “Can I go to David’s house?” “Can I just stay in the band hall after school until the football game?” “So-and-so is having a party. David can pick me up from practice and take me to the party and then we can go straight from there to the parade.” Really, no need for you to be involved, mom. I’ve got this. I guess this prepares us for that moment when she won’t be there at all. When she heads off to college, maybe nearby, maybe not. When days or weeks or months will go by before we see her again. Preparing us for our parents’ current realities. Preparing us for life without her. Like all transitions, there are positives and negatives to this new development. Our practical, day-to-day lives are easier. We can go do our thing and leave her at home in charge of her brothers. Her boyfriend can shuttle her from event to event on busy days, which greatly simplifies things for us. But while the living of life is more convenient, the emotional toll is tremendous. The worry can suffocate. She’s in someone else’s car. She will soon be behind the wheel herself. I haven’t yet lived all the stages of parenthood, but I feel this one is the most terrifying. What if I lose her? Not just lose her to the normal process of growing up, but lose her? The fear

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