Monday, March 17, 2014

Letting Go

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Lately, letting go has been a recurring theme in my life, for reasons related to my health, to my career, and as a mother.
My youngest turned eleven years old today, one son will be in high school in the fall, and the other is in his last year of college.  I remember when my children were little, parents with older children often told me it only got harder.

Harder?!?!?  Working a full-time job, paying for daycare, diapers, never getting enough sleep, constantly feeding the kids, cleaning up after them, changing them, comforting them...  How could it possibly get harder?!?!?

Fast forward many years (years that have gone by so fast), and I understand how it gets harder.

I believe we each have our own spiritual journey on this earth, things we are meant to learn to make us better people.  My journey is not my husband's, though we are lucky enough to share our journeys together.  My journey is not my children's.  So as much as I may want to shelter them, or preach to them, or tell them what to do, as they grow older I have to learn to be a guide more than a parent.

And that means learning to let go, a little more each year, when my instincts scream at me to protect them from the big bad world and everything in it that can hurt them.

I know I have to let go enough for them to learn independence, and responsibility, and good decision-making skills.  Let go so that they can learn  how to earn respect, recognition, friendship, and love.  Let go so that they can learn how to get back up when life knocks them down.

But most of all, I have to let go and be a guide so they can travel their own path to learn who they are without my judgment or agenda.  Because it is a beautiful world with tons of opportunity, and as hard as it is to watch my children fly away, I want them to soar high and proud.

"There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children.  
One of these is roots, the other, wings." 
~ Hodding Carter