As a writer, exploring POV is intrinsic to what I do – a story is first and foremost the perspective which is telling it. (Something that is also true for politics, love, and reviews of Last Jedi – I still haven’t seen it, so don’t spoiler me!)
As a parent, I’m used to the dual POV (me-as-adult and me-as-child) that silently narrates my parenting choices. We spend the entire time replicating (intentionally or not) or repudiating the way we were raised. But I don‘t think there’s as stark a POV difference as when your child goes off to college. Or comes home again (I pick up my eldest at the airport today). I remember clearly the relief and comfort of stepping into my family home while at the same time it felt like too-tight shoes I had already outgrown. In parent POV, it’s like Prince Harry is coming to visit, only I’m nervous he’ll find my palace too small. That I miss him terribly is shoved to the front of my brain, yet all my tears are happy ones knowing he’ll be home again.
Only to leave. Again.
It reminds me of when children are about two, toddling around, suddenly able to explore the world as fast as their little feet will take them… only they keep circling back, touching home base, literally. A small hand on your knee or the depositing of a mouth-sticky toy in your hand. Then they’re seized by their pint-sized wanderlust again and they’re off! And you know, as the parent, that you’d better not wander off yourself because the child can only explore if they know you’re there to touch base with.
When they’re two it’s adorable; when they’re nineteen, it’s heart-breaking. But it’s all the same process, the same growth, the same need…
Only the perspective has changed.