A few days ago two of my children went back to school. I was so excited for them but when the morning arrived I felt a mixture of strong emotions: gratitude, joy, happiness, and extreme sadness.
When my oldest started school four years ago I needed him to be there. As a single mom of three little ones I was overwhelmed, overworked, and in desperate need of some rest. When I dropped my baby off at kindergarten I felt sweet relief by this new season in our lives. It wasn't that I wanted him away from me we just both needed structure, we needed time apart, and I had two other children to mother along with completing graduate work and running a household.
As I put my children on the bus I felt the heartbreak of letting go for the first time. I've always put on a brave face when they reached milestones and never allowed myself to feel those normal mom emotions of wanting my children to stay young forever. I always nurtured the desire for them to spread their wings and be more independent.
Bryan proudly stood next to Gabe in their "first day of school" photo and I realized how very lucky we are to be a complete family. Bryan missed out on many of our children's firsts and I was so happy he was there to wish Gabe good luck. I posted several photos during the day and Bryan shared with me later how he anticipated the arrival of each one.
When I allowed myself to feel the emotions of the day I felt justified in the sadness, the joy, and the in-between. The beauty of life is found when we allow ourselves to experience the emotions inside ourselves and give them a name. It is equally important to not let those same emotions take over our hearts and invade the places where God has placed hope in our paths.
Seasons change, children grow, and motherhood is among the most noble and gut-wrenching roles a woman can pursue. I love the following words from a beautiful Christian role model about her role as Mom:
If I cannot give my children a perfect mother I can at least give them more of the one they've got-and make that one more loving. I will be available. I will take time to listen, time to play, time to be home when they arrive from school, time to counsel and encourage.Ruth Bell Graham
Linking up with A Royal Daughter, Simply Helping Him, Mel at Essential Thing Devotion and Christian Mommy Blogger
Now it's your turn! What are your experiences with letting your children experience certain things? Is it hard for you to let go?