Last night, I was doing the dishes and talking with my Mom. I was remarking how amazing it was that earlier in the day, we had taken D to the bounce house in the mall and she ran into it on her own and played with the other kids. Two months ago, when we tried it, I basically dragged her on it and she barely moved and then cried to leave. A heartful of confidence had built up in her within two months. She looked back for us, of course, but she didn’t need us right there with her. As I tell the story, I look up and see my emotions written all over my mother’s face.
Because, of course, she’s been there too. With me.
A memory springs to mind- it was September in the year 2000, and we had just finished bringing approximately 10,000 loads of crap to my very first dorm room located 4 hours from everything I had known for 17 years. The students that serve as Residential Assistants began ushering parents away from the students, yelling loudly that it was time for them to go. I can still recall the feeling in the pit of my stomach as my Mom looked at me, preparing to say goodbye. She hugged me tightly, kissed my forehead as she has done ten million times and whispered “there’s a girl over there standing alone, I think she could use a friend.” I nodded, we whispered our “Love you mores” and tears sprang to my eyes, knowing when I turned back around, my Mom would be gone.
And she was. When I turned back to wave, she didn’t turn around. I knew she couldn’t. I’m glad she didn’t, because I may have run back to her and driven all the way back to Vermont.
She let me go. And I her, in return. But she had to do it first, so I knew that it was okay to.
Raising kids, and life in general.. it’s all about knowing when to let go. Knowing you’ve done your part. Being there to hear all about the new adventures. Moving into new roles, that you will eventually let go of, as well.
Here’s hoping I learn to do it as gracefully as my Mom.