I have found one of the greatest lessons, and most difficult things required as a parent, is this:
If you think about it, the process of letting go begins at birth.
The baby is born. She’s been really close to you for nine months. Really close.
And what is the first thing that happens? They whisk her away. Your eyes follow the baby closely, looking desperately toward the table where the nurse took her to check her vitals and clean her up.
“Bring her back,” is what you’re thinking. “Now.”
And they do. And all is well, glorious even.
Then there is a night when he cries. He’s been changed, fed, and you know he is fine. Experts tell you to let him cry a little. He’s learning to feel safe on his own.
The day she walks…away from you…toward a coffee table with a sharp corner. Letting go.
There is the day you drop him off at daycare or preschool.
Let. GO. Ugh.
High school. Let go.
A first date? Yikes. Let. Go. (If it’s your daughter, it’s in all caps: LET…GOOOOOOO.)
College? Military? LET go. Ouch. It hurts.
And the wedding day? Gotta let go. Gotta.
It’s all a joyous…painful…beautiful…heart-wrenching…necessary and natural experience. It’s our goal: our child’s independence. And it’s a tug of war. For them, and for us.
My son, Jon, is on his first long road trip without me this week.
It’s Spring break, and he and his friend, Noah, took off in his old (it could break down!) Honda Civic (are they even reliable?) to a cabin (what about BEARS?) in the woods (Jon has NO sense of direction and a false sense of confidence!) to write music, and hang out as a band. (Can’t they just do that at home?)
Well now you know my thoughts about it. (Lord, please bring them home safely!)
It really never ends, this letting go thing. And all we can do is hold tight to the One who knit them, a God who loves our kids even more than we do.
Isn’t that unfathomable? We have a God Who enables us to let go, Who loves them even more than we do. He’s in control, is powerful, AND He loves our kids.
We can let go.
(it’s still not easy!)