Within a year, China would start paving her own journey. Setting her standards high, she was determined to have an education. For her, family life would come later. Yep, I was proud of her values. She would soon spread her wings. For me, two questions were unanswered: Firstly, how long would I continue to stay in the little gray-and-white house without her? Secondly, how long would I resist her academic choices when each appeared farther than the last? Torn between fulfilling my choices or China’s, I gave in to being without her. Not wanting to lose her, I accepted that she’d live on campus.
“Mommy, it’s where I’ll find independence and opportunity. It will be a place that offers me a sense of freedom and opportunity to achieve my personal goals,” she told me.
With such a direct statement, how could anyone reject their child’s wishes? Yeah, it’s hard to cut those apron strings. But, it was time—time to let go and watch her grow up. During the final months, China remained at the top of her class. She believed that hard work, dedication, and determination were the key. Our time was precious as the clock wound down. We cherished our quality time. Nothing could separate us from those moments, nothing at all—or so I thought.
Suddenly, the road beyond had no slopes, circles, hills, valleys, or mountains. There in the distance was a broken thorn—a thorn that meant separation. Even though we had a relationship strong enough to survive any cracks, it was the last thing we needed. Then again, a separation wasn’t the worst thing — or was it? The shoe prints we made next changed our journey’s path forever. And it made our relationship stronger.
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