I am journeying into uncharted territory wearing bedroom slippers.

I don’t have Waze or Google Maps. I don’t even have whajcallit, that old GPS system everyone was so excited about… TomTom… that’s it. I don’t even have that. I’m just wandering around trying to find my way, using bits of advice from those who have been here, to try to guide me forward.

And it’s only been one hour. One hour and 11 minutes. Since a typical date lasts three hours, I have one hour and 49 minutes to go. That’s 109 nail-biting minutes.

What I want to do: grab my phone and text my child — Hey, how it is going? Just send me a thumbs-up or thumbs-down emoji, or thumbs-sideways if you’re unsure. But send me something because I am slowly going bonkers sitting here and thinking thinking thinking.

My kids have entered the world of shidduchim, and I’m either thinking too much or not thinking enough. I know I’m thinking too much because my overactive imagination has me wandering and wondering. Wandering the delightful aisles of HomeGoods and wondering which cake plate I’d buy for my daughter’s new apartment if if if. I know I’m not thinking enough because I am contemplating texting my son during his date.

I wouldn’t really do that. I know I wouldn’t. It was just a fleeting thought that I shoved aside because I am so incredibly curious.

This is what entering shidduchim means: This new guy (or girl) will one day be a blip in your life or one of the most important and precious people in your life. And — here’s the sticking point — the one who decides between blip and precious treasure is the One Above.

You have no say. Zero. It’s laughable, really. That at your age you’ve finally come to the realization that you’re not in charge. He-llo, where have you been? You were never in charge to begin with. Not with health or parnassah or if your kid got a splinter.

You must have always known this, but it’s come to a head now, during this tense time when your kid walks out the door and you know he’s on his own. Remember how you felt when you sent your kid to school for the first time? You wanted to shout, “This child is so precious to me, please, please take care of him. Please, keep him safe.”

Magnify that a few times and that’s the feeling of your kid walking off to his or her first date. You just want to keep things safe for him, and happy and good and lovely and joyous. You want to pave the way for a happy journey. But you can’t.

You can’t call or text, obviously. Nor can you gush too much or give too much input. You’re there to listen and advise, but this is his or her decision. This may be your potential child-in-law, but you’re not doing the choosing. Your child, who is now ready to start a home of his or her own, makes the choice. (Excerpted from Family First, Issue 580)