The other night, a vivid dream startled me awake: My family and I were in a minor plane crash. For some reason, our seats had been assigned separately, so I went to talk to the flight attendants before take-off to see if we were allowed to move to a different, emptier section of the plane where we could all sit together. We got the okay, but as I was walking back to tell my family, the plane started moving and I had to take the first available seat to buckle in, and I didn’t have enough time to move The Big Sis and The Little Sis, who were sitting beside each other but not with The Husband. They were in my view, but not within arm’s reach since they were on the other side of the plane — maybe 15 feet away. I thought about asking someone to switch seats with me, but we were just about to begin acceleration for take-off and there just wasn’t enough time.
The plane began to speed up, faster, faster, faster, and we magically rose into the air, onward to our destination. In an instant, however, it became clear that we had not gained as much altitude as we should have, and we were going to be unable to clear the building that was right in front of us. Plane vs. building: I’ve seen how this ends, and it isn’t good. The crash itself was minor, and hardly anyone was injured (we later learned), but being unable to reach the girls immediately was one of the most helpless feelings ever. Chaos and smoke filled the plane, and it was all I could do to climb over broken airline seats to get to my children and help them. But when I finally reached them, I was taken aback.
There were my two girls, calm amid the panic, and I watched as The Big Sis carefully unbuckled herself, then The Little Sis, and they embraced in a giant hug, there for each other in their parents’ absence.
And in that moment, both in my dream and in real life, it hit me: My girls are growing up more and more each day, and they need me for less and less. I am actually okay with that; new adventures await, and it gets even better as we keep going along this life path with each other. But mostly I want to rest secure in the knowledge that they’re there for each other. They might not be best friends for life as nearly every parent hopes, but I hope that when it counts, they’ve got each other’s backs. That they help each other through the difficult times. That they cheer each other’s successes. That they can be for each other as adults what The Husband and I are for them now: a support, a guide, a cheerleader.