I was filling out a survey today, and I was asked for my demographic information. I was asked to place a checkmark in the box for the range in which my age fell. It was the second to last of five boxes. The thought that ran through my head: “Oh crap I’m getting old!”
With that came an avalanche of other thoughts, all of them having to do with the fact that time continues to press forward no matter how much I want it all to slow down. This includes the continued maturation of my daughter, and the corresponding realization that in less than four years she will be off to college.
I am sure all parents go through those moments of anxious panic at the idea that your little loved ones will soon leave the proverbial nest to live their own lives, and like me, I am sure no parent is ever really ready for their departure.
As much as I have confidence in the young adult my daughter has grown up to be, I still have to pause when I allow myself to think of everything that’s out there in that big, bad world of ours. Yet I know what I must do is place it all in God’s hands and be an undeniable truth in the life of my daughter.
I need to make sure she knows that no matter where she goes or what she decides or who she grows up to be, my love for her will never diminish. I need to make sure she holds as a positive certainty the fact she can always count on me.
With that, I give you the poem that was born out of this moment of panic.
In the darkness of your unexplored world stands a lighthouse
Less remarkable with each passing year
Weathered … beaten down by the crashing waves and the salt spray
It’s shone it’s light bright for you
From your very first voyage, a casual perusal in the harbor
To your treks of discovery, each one taking you further and further from port
Now, as you prepare to escape the confines of the bay
And explore the vastness of the mysterious yet exciting seas
Your lighthouse remains prepared
Diligent … Steadfast …. Anxious
What storms may come? What weather may weigh down your sails?
Your course is uncharted, each direction a new opportunity
Each decision a tightrope walk between failure and success
Yet through it all, your compass remains true
A constant unmoved by the chaos that is ready to attack at a moment’s notice
Through it all, your lighthouse shines bright to help guide you through the unknown
To help you see when you cannot
To warn you of the danger that lies ahead
And to greet you with open arms as you find your way back home