I can’t guarantee it but it’s what I'm currently feeling so I’m going to tell it like it’s the worst. It happens as you watch your child grow up; they slowly pluck away at your heart. I believe when they are young your heart gets so big, because you give and give. The giving just feeds your heart and makes it so big and bursting with love and pride that it becomes a contagious smile across your face. It’s like an animal that stores all its fat because it’s going to be a lean winter.
You know its going to be lean because you can feel it. You can’t put a finger on it but you know. It’s like that swamp scene in “Return of the Jedi” with Luke and Yoda…feel the force! For me that force is adolescence, not mine, but my daughter's. She feels it and I’m the old squirrelly guy in a sack with sandals. Truthfully, I wish it were plaid shorts, black socks and sandals, but I digress. It is everything you taught them being used to walk away.
Yet the force is GOOD! It assures their minds that are full of doubt and in pursuit of confidence. As would a young Jedi go to his master, a daughter goes to her father; presenting him with drawings that she so quietly and diligently worked on. Those once small brown eyes, now looking equally into mine, wants confirmation at a job well done. I’m not a master, as I also stumble to find my way I joyfully express my enthusiasm for a job well done and a valiant effort. But always the teacher, words of correction and reassurance fall from my lips. It is a dash of encouragement with the bitterness of life that nourishes the soul. Following the praise, I offer the suggestion that a drawn line might be off or a greater depth of shading is needed here or there. I view it as adding sunshine to a plant that is ready to flower.
So I pick her up and whisk her away only to plant memories. My heart grows smaller but the memories grow fonder.