Blooming time

BrightBloomsTwenty years ago a thoughtful cousin gave us a sapling cherry tree as a shower present to mark the arrival of our daughter. Three days ago it wasn’t in bloom and now it is, full of airy white blossoms, astonishing, like a baby discovering her fingers.

Twenty years ago – my daughter. Three days ago – the cherry tree. I was watching. I witnessed the unfurling. And yet every year I am surprised when the cherry tree blooms, defies the past bitter winter, when it gives testimony to beauty, bounty, and fruition in a sudden spring exaltation.

In a few weeks our 20 year old is taking her first solo holiday – a backpack, a fearless heart, and The Diary of Anne Frank as her luggage – and soon she will be lifting her chin, her eyes, and her mind to new places, new smells, new people. Naturally, I am worried. Naturally, she is not. I give voice to my worry in the form of traveller’s advice. My husband says, mocking but hinting at his own concerns, “Bride of ISIS!” It’s not funny. It’s not even remotely possible but, you know…. You know? In turn, she nods, says nothing and looks at her younger sister whose eyes round and then she looks down with a smile. Parents.

She’ll come home with stories to share with us about museums she visited, famous sights she saw, food she ate. There will be different stories for her friends – the bars she drank in, the music she discovered, the Aussie men (MEN!) who flirted with her. Because she’s an adult.

Her head will be full of images and ideas and discoveries that we didn’t shepherd. These blossoms are all her own. She’s an adult, soon to be 21, and it happened right under my nose. Now she’s off to lands far, far away, where my nose won’t know. But she’s an adult.

Twenty years ago. Three days ago. Blooming time.

25 thoughts on “Blooming time

    • redosue May 9, 2015 / 3:18 pm

      The tree is inspirational and so is my daughter. Thank you kindly, Cynthia.


    • redosue May 11, 2015 / 2:42 pm

      Thank you, Bruce. It’s all so damn fleeting.


    • redosue May 9, 2015 / 8:58 pm

      Yes, they are sublime especially this year coming quickly on the heals of a nasty, cold winter. They really gladen a heart. I see you have cherry blossoms as your masthead – NICE!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. amusingpoet May 9, 2015 / 8:39 pm

    Thank you for this lovely and thoughtful post. I, too, took off on a long trip when I was 20 years old, and I marvel that my parents let me go. Now I can see both sides. I wish both of you well of your journeys.


    • redosue May 9, 2015 / 9:00 pm

      I lived away from home when I was twenty and now remember my mother sending me care packages because she was worried about me. I thought she was nutty but now I understand. Many thanks for dropping in.


  2. Susanne McFadzen May 9, 2015 / 10:14 pm

    Same feelings and worries at our house. Except here it is not the first time, we have let her go alone before, so we are sort of getting used to it. You will enjoy the return with the excitement and the stories. Hopefully, she will leave some of her adventures out 😉 And our tree is a crabapple and will bloom while she is away.
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts.


    • redosue May 9, 2015 / 10:25 pm

      First, thanks for coming back, Susanne. I missed blogging and am really happy to be here again and even happier that you’re here reading. I like that you are “sort of getting used to it” – your chickens leaving the coop. It is an ambivalent feeling isn’t it? Happy and excited for them but kind of sad the shaping their world phase is pretty much gone.


      • Susanne McFadzen May 10, 2015 / 12:09 am

        I am so extremely happy to read you again 😉
        In our case, we still have a little to contribute emotionally and financially to both of our girl’s lives.
        Them chickies are lucky to have us! But it still does come along with all those worries, I don’t think that will ever stop.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Rosanna May 11, 2015 / 9:53 pm

        I wanted to comment on how much I liked the post, but I thought a reblog was the best way to convey that message.


      • redosue May 11, 2015 / 9:55 pm

        It was much appreciated, my faraway friend!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Rosanna May 14, 2015 / 12:23 am

        The world is indeed smaller because of the internet. It’s nice that friendships like this one is now possible!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Ellen Morris Prewitt May 11, 2015 / 6:17 pm

    A jewel of a post. Enjoyed every bit of it, even as your worry resonated–this weekend my niece who lived with us is graduating college in international studies with an emphasis in Arabic so she can go live in foreign lands. Dreams, we must count everyone lucky who is able to live them out, even if they are not our own.


    • redosue May 11, 2015 / 8:39 pm

      Thank you, Ellen. How thrilling to see your niece graduate from college. That’s a big milestone, too.

      I’m so excited for my daughter to go to places she’s always wanted to see but I wish the worried knot somewhere in my GI tract would untie itself.


  4. Luanne May 11, 2015 / 6:38 pm

    Yes, my heart falters at the thought. But my daughter had to learn to travel young to go to auditions because I couldn’t give up my life to help her life her life by the time she was 18 or 19.But I never stop being worried or “momming” her.


    • redosue May 11, 2015 / 8:37 pm

      May we always be able to mom our children and someday they may – at least mine – will like it.


  5. D. Wallace Peach May 12, 2015 / 12:26 am

    Oh, it’s so hard to let go! And yet that’s our mission as parents – to raise them so they can take those first independent steps and all the ones that come after. It sounds like you’ve done your job.


    • redosue May 12, 2015 / 1:45 am

      Every crossable part of me is holding itself in an x, hoping you are right!

      Liked by 1 person

      • D. Wallace Peach May 12, 2015 / 8:56 am

        My daughter did the same and took off for Thailand for a year. My safety lectures had her eye-rolling for months. She was there for the tsunami and we lost track of her for six days…but she’s here today and a mama, so her traveling days are over for a couple decades. Ha!

        Liked by 1 person

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