I had not one, but two, baby birds fly the coop this weekend.
My son moved into his first apartment four and a half hours away from us.
My daughter moved into her freshman dorm just down the street.
Both goodbyes were equally hard.
It’s bittersweet to be a mama sometimes.
You spend the earliest part of the parenting journey holding your children closely.
You pull them to your chest as they eat.
You rock them to sleep.
Catch them when they’re learning to walk.
Grab their hand as you cross the street together.
You and your child are intertwined, day in, day out.
Then, slowly, you let go of your child.
You wipe their tears as you leave them in their kindergarten class.
Wave goodbye to them as the bus pulls away for summer camp.
You watch them drive away in their first car.
You wipe your own tears as they receive their diploma.
The day eventually comes when they leave home.
And while they may return periodically, you know your family dynamic will never be the same.
I heard someone say once that change is really nothing more than an education in how to die well.
Really, all of life is teaching us how to deal with change.
Some people love adventure and crave the unknown.
They despise the monotony of a routine.
But even the biggest thrill-seekers will have their world rocked by change at some point.
Maybe it’s the death of a parent, the loss of a job, or the shock of a divorce.
Change might involve dealing with a new world amid an ever-changing pandemic.
Or realizing that what you once thought you believed, you no longer believe. A death of who you thought you were, I guess.
When we get married, we die to self. We put away thinking only of ourselves to make room for our spouse’s wants and needs.
And when we become parents, we sacrifice it all. There is a living being, walking around outside of our body, who is a part of us in some way, shape or form.
We literally sacrifice the urge to control a piece of our own life, even though we’d been in control for such a long time.
You know, if you think about it, eighteen summers is a pretty short time.
That’s it, really. That’s what you get as a mama or daddy. The standard eighteen years.
They leave for college, and, even if you see them frequently, control the purse strings, and make certain decisions, you don’t hold the clout you once did.
If you’re lucky and you’ve done your job well, your children will want to see you. They’ll seek your company and need your advice.
Maybe not at first. Remember, you, too, were once a young adult trying to prove yourself.
But give it a few years. There will come a time, maybe years after they’ve left home, when your child will come to you, needing you to parent once again.
And when they look into your eyes, you will see that same small child you raised.
The one whose tears you wiped, hands you held, cheek you kissed goodnight.
And you will realize that while life has changed, a parent is a parent forever.
Have you had to let go as a parent? How did you handle it? I need advice as I begin my own journey of letting go.
Comment below. I’d love to hear from you.