I’m pretty sure all parents experience those thunderclap moments of realisation; that flash of clarity and pride and wonder, when you look at the person you guided through teething, first day of kindy, you’re-not-coming-to-my-birthday, weird body happenings, exams, learning to drive…the whole nine yards, and you suddenly see them for the amazing individual they’ve become.
They’re the moments you salt away, gems you know are there but only bring out to buff up when you’re all alone and won’t freak anyone out with the onslaught of proud-mother-tears.
Watching The Goat Herd quietly but confidently lead the school concert band through those high-brow competitions; The Renovator deftly moving through the crowded restaurant talking the talk and juggling the plates; The Farmer respectfully and efficiently catching, wrestling into the trailer, then releasing and recatching the sheep the dithering buyer pointed out; Farm Girl explaining to yet another doom-merchant that all her needs were being met – academic, physical and social – despite her being home schooled. The graduations, the formals, the overheard conversations with authority…yes, I am sweaty-eyeballed as I type this.
Yesterday, I watched as The Farmer quietly, respectfully, and lovingly supported Princess Nikita as she said her final goodbye to her Dad. My heart aches for her, for the family he is now one of just as the much as the Princess is a Homesteader, and I feel useless and hackneyed in my offers of sympathy and help. But as I observed the man my boy now is, looking out for his most important person, I heard that thunderclap again.