Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Reality of letting go...

We had our children when we were very young.
It seemed like such a great idea.
So fun.
To have our own little baby to dress,
play with and care for.
We were so unaware of the bonds that 
would be made and the overwhelming love
that would take over our hearts.

The intensity of it must be experienced 
to be understood.

Now, please understand that I would not
change a thing
I love my kiddos to pieces.

That is precisely the dilemma.

Children are a bit like kittens.
They grow up.
They begin to stretch and yearn for
Your mind tells you that this is a very 
good thing...
it is natural and healthy.
But your heart says....hey!  Wait!
I am not quite ready for you to be 
thinking on your own.
Wasn't it just yesterday 
that you were completely 
dependent on me for life?

The past couple of years around here
have been so interesting.
Watching these one time babies
becoming young adults.
Letting go a bit here and there
to allow them to make decisions.
Usually good....
sometimes not the ones we would 
make given our years of experience.
But how else will they learn?
Really learn.

I remember these years as I grew
into an adult.  I think my parents did 
it well.  I remember thinking how much 
they trusted me and I always tried to do 
the things that would make them proud.
The thought of hurting them kept me from
a world of trouble.

Our precious daughter is doing
well in her place of employment.
She loves her co-workers and 
when her shift is completed
she returns to us...
happy and content.
It is a very good thing for her.
However, it is another place of 
letting go for me.
When she has an issue at work
I have stayed out of it...
although that doesn't mean I haven't 
offered....and given tons of advice!
(You know me!) 
What Mom doesn't want to come and 
make it all right when there is some sort 
of learning experience that hurts.
But the maturity shows when she says
she can work it out.
And she does.
So soon we will do what parents 
do all over the world...
say "see you later" to one as he begins the 
next stage of his life.
To say I am proud of who Michael has
become would be a huge understatement.
He is kind, caring, 
a show-off...but we forgive him for that....
He is a young man with a goal
and a dream.
Isn't that what we all want for 
our children?

Our eldest still waits to find his niche.
But when he does he will be 
He will be dedicated and loyal.
That is our Jonathan.
Until then he is the ever faithful 
dog walker for his Grandma and 
occasional writer.
He is currently waiting for me to catch 
up to him in the editing of his book.
I've been just a tad busy lately.
He's noticed.
God has amazing plans for Jonathan.
This, I know for sure!

Michael is on his way.
To a new adventure.
This year amongst the "toys" he will 
receive things like 
his own box of
Q-tips and other necessities.
I mean when you are moving
out you need 
the little things that you take for 
granted at home.
No, he is not getting that much
longed for motorcycle.
We can't afford it...
and even more importantly we 
don't believe it is the best choice for 
him right now. 
We are still his parents, after all.

And isn't that the crazy thing about 
them growing up?
When the boys come to me to ask 
if they can watch a certain movie
part of me wants to tell them that they 
are legally adults and can make up their 
own minds and the other part smiles
and reads reviews with them...
still guiding and helping them along the way.
Hey!  If they are asking and still living in our home....

But, I know that soon enough they will all 
be out there making their own choices...
on everything.

This Momma hopes that the foundations
are strong enough
to allow them to stand on their own.
They will make mistakes.
We all do.
But, the hope remains that it will
always come back to 
faith that is their own....
not values borrowed
from us.
I think back to those days when they
were in diapers.
Those days I thought would never end.
Babies crying as they teethed.
A husband who was able to leave 
each day to this place he called "work"...
I "knew" better.  
He was gaining his freedom for 
hours each day as I worked 
in the trenches of trying to keep 
the kids alive and happy.
After all they were into everything and 
kept me so busy.

Older moms told me that these were
the easy years....
I didn't believe them.
They were right on so many fronts....
but it was not for the reasons I thought.
It was because the caring and love gets 
stronger.  The concerns become bigger.
Again, I say, I wouldn't change it.
I love being a Mom.
I love it so much!!

It is just such a dichotomy of feelings sometimes.
Many of you have been at this point 
and beyond.
Some of you have yet to experience this.
But, you most likely will.
And when you do ....
remember that this is what 
you were
called to.
If you are a parent it is about
the raising and the letting go.
The nurturing and the guiding.

What a rewarding,
challenging and very 
special experience.

It is good.


jAne said...

yes. yes, indeed. all of it. yes.

love you,

Mary said...

Such a great article...I am now in the process of seeing my grandchildren entering adulthood one by one...Raising children is quite a process, I'm so proud of their "adulthood" but my heart still says "my babies"...

Elena said...

Great post Becky! One thing my mom always told me about being a parent was that you are working yourself out of a job:)

Mrs.Rabe said...


Vee said...

Becky, this should be mandatory reading in many circles. What a precious essay. You must print it out in triplicate and save it for the day each of your three has a little one of his or her own.

Blessedmom's Simple Home said...

So well written, and oh, so true :-)
Have a wonderful CHRISTmas Becky!

Phyllis said...

Vee has an excellent idea. Great post. I have gone through all those emotions but I certainly could not express them they way that you did. We will always be a Mom.

Ellen said...

Thanks for preparing me for my soon to be adventure with JT. When is Mikey leaving