Adulting Adventures

	She’s not my little girl any more.  Hasn’t been for, oh, 17 years or so. 
	When they go to college, we know our relationship with our kids will change. As if we didn’t know that the minute they hit puberty.  But as we age, we become more like good friends than parents and offspring, if we manage to navigate some rough waters.  
	Any parent of adults does not need me to describe the trip through the rapids of our children’s early adulthood and how we can get tossed into the drink before we know it.  Misunderstandings and unrealized expectations arise without warning. Eventually we accept the fact that we now ride in different vessels.  We enjoy being together as adults whose ways of moving through this world had diverged.
	It is rewarding to reach this point, where we like being in each other’s company. For a limited period of time.  And we return to our separate homes and different lifestyles. I don’t rescue my kids any more, and they don’t come running for help. They don’t rescue us, either, until we reach that stage we don’t want to talk about yet.
	My husband and I paid a visit to our daughter and her husband in Amherst, Massachusetts recently. They have a spacious house with a lovely wood stove, in a charming neighborhood. We have several other family members and friends we can visit while we are in New England. We love to do day trips to see historical sites. This time we achieved a nice balance of time with them and time away. 
	My daughter and I love to hike together. The Holyoke mountain range has numerous trails to easy summits, with spectacular views. So at least few hours have to be reserved for that during each visit.  We throw on our gear, apply sunscreen and bug spray, and drive to a nearby trailhead.  I wrote the following poem after hiking both Bear Mountain and Mt. Norwottuck this time. 

Massachusetts, 5-14-22

We climb your mountains 
aiming for summit but 
content to share the 
effort, spending our breath on 
conversation, willing to pause 
and breathe together the air 
of companionship.

You lead me now.
I carried you, then led you 
too, sometimes on rocky climbs 
that rewarded you with a vista 
of new ideas, hard-won confidence. 
You have other companions now 
as you should, but today
we have these gifts of time 
and invitation, shared 
discovery.

I find myself happy to let you lead.
I will have one more lesson 
to teach you if we are 
given the chance.  One more 
hike into the country 
of light.
If we are together then 
you will see, 
but if not, I will wait 
for you there, when we will 
breathe together the air of Love.