Letting Go and Letting Them Fly

I’ve been thinking back to all the times that I have had to let my kids go as they grew.  Letting them go – to a babysitter the first time.  Letting them go – to preschool.  Letting them go – to elementary school.  Letting them go – to spend the night with friends.  Letting them go – to hang out somewhere with friends with no parents around.  Letting them go – in a car by themselves the first time.  Even letting them go as a child when you watch them get their diploma from high school.  Each step seems to bring tears – along with blended feelings…happy, sad, scared, love, pride.  Each time, having that little hesitation inside but knowing that you have to let them go to grow and fly.

My daughter came to me in the past couple of weeks to tell me that her boyfriend was probably going into the military.  With that, she had decided that she would follow him wherever he had to go – and that they were talking of marriage.  Inside, of course I wanted to cry because I would miss her and life would change for all of us.  But, I also have always told my kids that I wanted them to see more of the world than the borders of Ohio.  I knew the day would come that I would have to really let go, but it doesn’t get any easier just because you know it is coming.

Lindsey has a good head on her shoulders.  I know she will be ok.  I am sure she will have ups and downs.  I am sure she will have happy times along with sad.  And I am also sure that home sickness will hit somewhere along the line.  I knew when she told me her plans that my response had to be “Lindsey, I want you to see the world.  That’s what I have wanted for all of you – to not let the borders of Ohio make you stuck.”  I also knew that I had to hold back tears and not cry because she had to know it was ok to make a life for herself.  That I couldn’t make her feel bad or guilty about a decision that I knew was hard enough for her to make.

Wow, being a parent is really hard sometimes when you least expect it.  Letting go has always been the hardest for me inside, but I have never let my insides affect what I knew were right decisions.  Sometimes, you have to set your emotions aside and think with your head – then deal with the emotions later.  I remember back to when my brother (now passed away) left for the military.  My mom had told my dad that she didn’t know how she was going to watch him leave without crying.  He told her that she had to cry or he wouldn’t know how much she cared.  I have no doubt that the crying part will not be a problem when it’s time for her to leave.  But man, I just know that when she takes flight, that girl is going to really soar!

10 thoughts on “Letting Go and Letting Them Fly

  1. “Letting go has always been the hardest for me inside, but I have never let my insides affect what I knew were right decisions.” I love that statement! What’s best for our children is what we should encourage, even if it makes us cry inside (and outside).

    1. I agree! I just wish it was easier to do sometimes!

  2. Wonderful article & wholeheartedly agree about letting them go. Although my kids are still young but for me its letting go of the super mum, letting go of the mummy-guilt, for the sake of my children.

    Hopefully, this is preparing me for when the time comes to let go of my cubs so they can find their own way.

    1. I think the more times you have to let go and you see that they really do come out fine, the easier it gets because you know they will be fine, but it never is easy.

  3. This is a wonderful piece. There’s so many times as a Mama when I want to cry and pull my kiddos back to me a little but put on a smile and support them instead. (Usually I am able to break out the tears once they know they have my support!)

    1. Thank you! It seems like as my kids get older, sometimes it’s harder to let go – but I always try to keep in my head to do what you know you have to so they can be independent, happy people in the end.

  4. Becky, I am just at the beginning of this letting-go thing. It is hard already! I can’t imagine things like driving a car alone or moving away — but I know they’ll happen eventually. Just got to get through the day, one at a time 🙂

    1. Driving a car – you sit on the edge of your seat until they return! LOL But, eventually, it becomes normal to watch them go and you don’t worry as much.

  5. Maryalina says:

    What a great read. I’m at the very first letting go experience. Leaving my first born with a family member for date night was harder than I could have imagined. It was wonderful, but coming home felt so good. Now it’s almost time to return to work full time. I’m not sure how I’m ever going to do it…Finding the strength in phrases and articles and moms like you…that’s how!

    1. Thanks Maryalina! It’s a struggle, but the rewards are great each time you let go and see them accomplish great things.

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