The smoke in the Ukiah Valley reached "hazardous" levels, so I took my daughter to stay with her dad for a while. He lives in Davis, and yes, it was smokey there too, but nothing like Ukiah. You can see across the street clearly in Davis while in Ukiah, the view of my neighbors is dimmed by beige, fog-like smoke.
Anytime she leaves to visit her dad or anyone else for a few days, I worry. I know it's ridiculous, but I honestly believe that no one can care for her as well as I do. No one knows her, understands her, or supports her like me. When she's trying to express an idea and can't form the right words, I know intuitively what she means and can tell other's what she's saying. It used to be a great thing when she was younger, but now, I'm beginning to think this telepathy we share is no longer good for either of us. I mean, she wants to be more independent and my stepping in to help her communicate or make decisions might be hampering that. However, she does legitimately need help much of the time, and I see part of my role as her intervener. I help bring the world into focus for her, filling in the gaps of her vision and hearing by explaining what is going on around her. But how much intervention is too much?
I think I am beginning to let go, because this time when she visited her dad, I felt calm. Well, calmer than in the past. I didn't feel the need to grab the phone to "check on her." Didn't wonder every hour what they were all doing. Was she eating? Brushing her teeth? Did her dad remember her medication? Was she able to tell him what she wants? It helped that I was competing in the 24 hour play festival this past weekend so was too busy much of the time to worry about her. But when the competition was done, I didn't call her dad to see how things were going.
She is growing up, pushing me away, trying out her own words and ideas, without me in the middle, and I think I'm finally beginning to let her. Beginning. It will be a while before I completely let go. But really, does any parent?