“How can I help and support you? What stressing you right now? “
I always ask when I have my daughters’ attention.
Dinner is the one time when their attention is nowhere but in the moment. We’re enjoying a delightful meal and each other’s energy.
From this open-ended and magical question, I try to discover how I can continue to be a loving presence in their lives. Sometimes, I just need to listen. Other times, I offer advice.
Today she said she needed all her legal documents. I flinched. Hard.
Birth certificate and social security card?
Why was this making me so damn emotional?
I pulled them out and handed them to her in mint condition. All those years collecting comics and baseball cards had given me mastery in the skill of preservation.
Then she asked for all her money.
I was the bank for their entire childhood, and they had an ongoing ledger that they would maintain with debits and credits. But my baby girl created a new checking account independent of her dad.
Now she needed to make a final withdrawal from the Bank of Aguirre. She got emotional as she was zeroing out her spreadsheet.
It was time to let go completely. (Almost completely.)
At this precise moment, she was becoming a fully autonomous human, and I was not ready to let go of her hand as she walked across the street of life.
She had already looked both ways.
It was time to let go. Old man, let go.
You did well.