The other day I sat in church, two pews back from a young couple with a little girl who has sprouted up in recent weeks, like a tulip. She moved away from their pew, exploring the stand up fan that offered some relief on that muggy, hot Sunday. Her parents watched her closely as she moved further away still, pulling out and then crawling over what I think was a kneeler, one of those odd pieces of church furniture that looks like your grammy’s footstool, heavily upholstered in burgundy and blue flowers. I didn’t see exactly what happened next, but I assume it involved a tumble. Like a shot her mom was there, helping her up, comforting, and steadying her back onto her little sandalled feet again.
She has yellow blonde hair and beautiful, sparkling blue eyes, like our Holly. And this week Holly turns 20. I can’t really say that it seems like only yesterday that Holly was toddling away from me at church, placing her silly putty in hymnbooks, and all kinds of those sorts of things. Because it actually feels like it really was quite a while ago.
But still, 20 has arrived at the door like a surprise.
I see that even though it was so long ago that Holly was wobbly on her feet, like that little girl on Sunday, and her hands so tiny and plump, that in some ways at this moment we have touched down very briefly at full circle. Twenty means we watch our daughter come and go and explore new ground all the time. Every now and then she still glances back, and she finds us watching. We cheer her on, and reach out a steadying hand, only if she wants, and only when it helps.
It has all been such a gift, and on we go.