Parenting and the Hero’s Journey

My friend's daughter will go away to college next year.

Her daughter is bright, hard-working, well-rounded, and could have gone pretty much anywhere, but elected to go to Brigham Young University (my alma mater, by the way), a university that many would consider a second-tier ‘safety' school.

The decision has been tough for both.

For Daughter, because she wants Mom to be proud, and the ‘safety' school wasn't Mom's first choice.

Source: Growing, Growing by Ashley Goldberg

For Mom — for all moms — I wonder if it's tough because we are afraid, feel fear?

The fear that we inevitably feel at the start of a hero's journey as we prepare to walk through the unknown?

Except that when it's our children, not us, the fear is heightened because we desperately want them to become more of who they are, and yet we realize that because it is their journey, not ours, we are supposed to be bystanders.

And could it be that this fear makes it nearly impossible for parents not to try and tell their children where to go, what to be?

Knowing my friend and her daughter, had Mom insisted, required, even simply asked Daughter to go to a different school, Daughter would have.

Mom wanted to ask — oh, how she wanted to.

But she didn't.

She instead courageously walked into her unknown, so that her daughter can walk into hers, and be the hero of her story.

In this unknown, Daughter — and Mom too — will no doubt find more of who they are.

Why else might it be difficult to send our children off on their journey?

Could it be possible that our children have become our dream keepers, and so we've become attached to a specific outcome for their lives — Do you remember the NY Times article about Esther Mobley?

Why does allowing our children to walk through their unknown, allow us to walk through ours?

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