No one's at work again today but I'm feeling more philosophical than crazy today. I'm listening/watching to an old Bones ep ("The Woman in the Car"). At one point Booth and Brennan are watching a video of a kid learning to ride a bike. Dad is a little nervous (his baby is growing up), kid is excited, Mom is worried. The mom keeps saying things like "Be carefull" and "don't let go" while the kid is saying "I can do it!" As the kid goes wobbling down the sidewalk, Mom says to Dad "How do we get him back?"
It occured to me that you never 'get them back' (kids that is) you just run along beside as long as possible. (note: I don't have any kids, just a much younger sister.) Parents (and older sisters) always want to hold on to their child, keep him or her at whatever age*. The job of a parent isn't to continue to hold on to the bike seat until all danger has passed. The job of a parent is to run along beside your child until you can't keep up anymore.
*Well, maybe not 11. Or 13, 15, and 17. I have a friend, who's now 25, that I've none since she was 11. The odd teenage years were not good.