Letting Go is a Hard Thing

mom daughter

Letting go is a hard thing, and it seems I’ve stepped into a river full of it.  A perpetual state of letting go. That’s where I find myself today.

My sweet four year old is becoming a big boy. So many of his cute little sayings are no longer spoken.  I must remind him to hold my hand and to slow down. Our recent talks reveal the mature and inquisitive mind of a growing boy, not the gibberish ramblings of a baby.  Ready or not, it’s time to bid farewell to the baby stage, my final baby stage.  Please excuse me while I grab a tissue.

My youngest daughter is becoming a beautiful young lady. She nearly has me on height and her foot has outgrown mine. As I observe her cooking skills, her love for shopping, and her attention to detail with a particular hair style or outfit, I am reminded that her teenage years are just around the corner.  How can this be?  Where is my baby girl with all those Shirley Temple curls?

And then there are my two older boys. The ones I still remember so clearly as little boys playing with power rangers and ninja turtles, catching frogs and lizards, and pretending to be all the normal things little boys pretend to be.

The younger of the two has since joined the high school ranks and will soon sit behind the wheel of my car, chauffeuring me around. The same old car his two older siblings first learned to drive.

The oldest is experiencing his last year as a high school student. With each passing day, he is one step closer to graduation and adulthood, and one day less the little boy I still remember. I tell myself to “breathe, momma, breathe” because surely it’s not time already.

I think I’ll grab another tissue, or perhaps I’ll snag the whole box.

Friends, I honestly don’t want to let go.  I prefer to hold my children near, watching over them, ensuring they make good decisions, keeping all the ugliness of this world far from them.  That’s what this momma wants to do. Yet, I know I cannot; I must loosen my grip and let them go.

Ironically, their dad and I spent most of their childhood preparing them to leave.  To step out of this warm, cozy nest of a home, spread their wings, and soar into the uncertain days that lie ahead.  We have pointed them to God and shown them His love so that, when it’s time to go, they are prepared to take flight and find His purpose for their lives.

Although we didn’t expect the flight lessons to end so soon, we will step back and give them space.  We will instruct a little less and pray a little more.  We’ll be proud of the adult children standing before us.  We’ll thank God for the privilege of loving them, raising them, and sharing our lives with them.

And this momma who doesn’t want to let go, her face will beam even though there are tears; and her heart will feel warm even though it aches.  She will recognize every phone call, visit, and hug as a great blessing.

And she will keep on preparing those younger children for their flight as well. Maybe it will be easier each time. Maybe it won’t. Either way, she’ll keep doing what must be done.  And she may need another box or two of tissue along the way.


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