Young - not pregnant anymore - daughter, well.. that's mostly her story. For what I see as a whole host of reasons, she asked that I come down near the end of June rather than now, to meet young Levi, and to spend some time with her. The idea of me wanting to take care of her, to help her with this... seemed somehow lost on her. I don't know.
In any case.... what I am reflecting on today, and the epiphany I had .. was that in both cases my absence, -and surely there is a better way to put it - the space that my absence allowed, made room for other things. Middle daughter got to stand on her own two feet. She got the chance to prove something to herself. She got to grow up a little bit more, know herself a little bit more, handle things, be strong, make good decisions, and soothe herself. That's worth my absence if you ask me.
Young daughter, is getting the opportunity to be taken care of and not by her mother. Young son-in-law is stepping up beautifully, happily, eagerly even. It would seem these last few days seem to have solidified a somewhat tenuous relationship. The baby seems to have brought out the best in everyone around. Babies are life changing, no denying that. I can almost see how my presence might have robbed them of this.
Sometimes stepping aside and making room for life to teach your kids is the hardest damn thing you will - I have ever had to do. There is no denying I love my kids. I know they know this. I think these are the sacrifices they talk about when you get the lectures about what being a parent really means.