Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Letting Go and Holding On


Oh, the ache of a mama's heart when she can't shelter her child from all of life's bumps and bruises.

When your child is a wee one, you can give yourself the illusion of control. You can make sure that solid foods are introduced exactly how and when you feel comfortable, you can child-proof the house to protect against accidents, you can research and select the very safest car seat. All of these things create the illusion that we can actually protect our children. But there comes a time when our children will go out into the world and gain their own experiences -- and that is a good thing. But oh, the shock of realizing how many things I cannot control:

I cannot make that boy like her back.
I cannot make her math teacher more fair.
I cannot give that bully a stern talking-to.
I cannot convince her director to give her a bigger part, even though she's the most experienced and accomplished Shakespearean actor in that whole darn school and what are you thinking giving her of all people five measly lines when she's been looking forward to this play all year and have you even seen what this kid can do on a stage are you blind???


There are some ways in which I have to let go, I have to let her out into the world to learn for herself how to handle disappointment and unfairness. And at the same time, I can hold on tight... by holding her hand as she vents her frustration, and making sure she knows that I will never let go.

This post is part of the Moms' 30-Minute Blog Challenge, hosted by Jamie over at SteadyMom.


  1. Heartbreaks are so hard, aren't they? They make us try harder, look deeper, see the true being of a person, and make real love that much better. You're a fantastic mom for letting her have her bumps and bruises - and for that she'll have a richer life.

  2. Oh, I'm so not ready to be there. But I agree, the best thing you can do is let her feel safe with you to share everything she will...and love her through it all. Good luck!


  3. You have just spoken the truth, my fellow blogger. Amazing, isn't it? I am there. Thanks for posting. I know I'm not alone~!

  4. Everytime I notice how my 5 yr old has changed, I'm reminded how he belongs a little more to the world and a little less to me. Bittersweet.

  5. My MIL used to have a little saying taped on her mirror that I used to read each time I visited. I can't remember it now, but it had to do with as a parent, giving your children roots and wings of independence. I loved that saying as I needed to remind myself to let my kids go at some point to let them do it on their own...it's still difficult though.

  6. It sure is hard letting go sometimes, but as you say they have to learn to stand on their own feet. Learn to handle disappointments and sad and bad things. As long as they know we will always be there to encourage and support them.

  7. It's definitely a tightrope ... and I haven't even begun to walk it. I hope to remember words like these as my children grow older and face more difficulties that I just can't protect them from.

  8. Oh, I'm lovin' this post.

    You speak my language. Amen, sister.

    Look forward to more....thank you for the heart warming read.

  9. Would love to email you, and tell you how much I loved this, but can't see an address? Anyway, I really truly ADORED this piece.

  10. Thanks, you all. I know you all share these feelings! Goodness this parenting gig is tricky sometimes, eh? :)

    And Empress, my email is chickencounting at gmail dot com. Always very happy to hear from readers!