Every so often, something happens that makes me want to stand back and rethink everything.  The other night there was a car accident in town.  Something that doesn’t happen very often, and considering it’s a small town – the chances of not knowing the person involved were slim.  Of course I knew her.  Not on a personal level, but having grown up with her – and having lived in the same small town – our lives intertwined more than once.  Its just how it goes.

Its weird, reading that someone you know, someone you JUST talked to not even a few weeks ago – is no longer alive.  It does something inside.  Rattles things up a bit, and makes me want to rethink this whole…thing called life.  Not death, I get that death happens.  Death is certain.  Life?  Isnt.  Its confusing and hard and frustrating and fragile and just so…

With thanksgiving (fast) approaching I am forced to think of all the things I have to be thankful for.  Its not really as bad as it sounds.  Because its not really that hard.  Sure, it would be so much easier to give into the list of things I have NOT to be thankful for, but that’s not what this is about, and that’s something I try (vainly at times) to avoid.  Sure, I want my old life back.  I want my daughter back.  I want my wife back.  I want to live as clueless as the rest.  But instead I have to focus on what I do have.  Who I have.  Even if at times that circle seems to be getting smaller and smaller.

I am thankful that the kids are here.  Alive.  Mostly happy and usually healthy.  Even if they are all HERE with me this year, they are here, in this world.  Breathing.  Laughing.

Sometimes I wish I could just hold them in and never let them go.  Keep them locked up under lock and key and never let them leave this house – and somehow – protect them from all the evil in this world.  The hurt, the pain, the suffering and the sadness.  But then I have to remind myself – that if I were to protect them from that, I would be keeping them from everything else.  I would be keeping them from happiness, and laughter.  I would be holding them back from enjoying their lives, and seeing things for themselves.  I would be wrong to try and protect them – knowing full well I cant.

Believe me, I have tried.

I have to let them go.  I have to let them see.  And try.  I have to watch them get hurt, and fall.  I have to watch – even though I know the outcome isn’t going to be good – and I have to let them try.  But I also get to help them back up, I get to watch them dust themselves off, and try again.  And succeed, and I get to see the happiness in their eyes when they finally reach their goal.  When they get to the point where they understand.  I get to see their smiles and hear them laugh.  And while I would keep them from pain if I could, I know I cant, and it wouldn’t be fair to them.

Letting go, not being in control, is hard.  Knowing that I cant control everything that happens, or atleast control the outcome – is frightening at best.

But sitting back (or really sitting on the edge of my seat) watching them navigate this life, making smart (or stupid) decisions and seeing the results for themselves, first hand, is something I cant teach them from inside a protected box.

And as hard as it is at times to let go and watch –  it is worth it.


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