For those of you who do not know, Deus Ex Machina is an engineer ... an electrical engineer to be exact with a degree from one of those hoity-toity universities in the northeast. He works for a small technology company that designs automation equipment, and his official title is Director of Engineering.
He told once me that as an engineer, his job is to make himself obsolete. That is, if he does his job well (which he does), then "they" don't need him anymore.
I've been thinking a lot about that these past two days. Big Little Sister and Little Fire Faery spent the night out in the woods with our Tuesday outdoor skills group, and unlike the regular Tuesday class, which is parents and kids, the overnight in the woods was just the kids (and the teacher and his apprentices :).
I, of course, spent the night imagining every possible horror and woke with a start at 3:00 AM ready to answer the frantic phone call and rush over to pick up Little Fire Faery, who is just too young to be staying overnight out in the woods ... but she's not too young, really.
This morning, when we joined the group for our regular class, Big Little Sister and Little Fire Faery ran up to us, gave us a hug, and ran back to the group. I realized that my job, as a Mom, is the same job that Deus Ex Machina, as an engineer, has. As a parent, my job is to raise indendent, self-sufficient individuals, and if I do my job well, they will no longer *need* me.
The other day, I was worried about how well I was doing my job, but watching my girls today, after they'd spent the night outside ... without me ... I realized that I'm pretty damned good at my job.
I just hope that, while they don't need me, they still like hanging out with me enough that, at least one of them, will stick around.
They are, afterall, my retirement plan, and in a couple of years, they may no longer need me, but there will come a time, probably in the not-too-distant future, when I will definitely need them ;).