Friday, February 24, 2012

Letting Go of our kids

gypsypurplehome.tumblr.com3via gypsypurplehome.tumblr

Hello friends, this past week was packed with lots of obligations and unfortunately, my blog time has suffered. I blinked and suddenly it’s Friday. And I’m left wondering where all those days went. Do you ever feel this way?

Anyway, it’s good to be back. And today I thought I’d share a few things I learned last weekend about this enormous Letting Go stage that I’m experiencing with my boys. Maybe you can relate. I’m talking about the on-going experience of loving and letting go, of stepping back from our kids and letting them grow, and then dealing with those tender, residual feelings that belong to us.

theinspirationalgirl2via theinspirationalgirl

Last weekend Patrick came home for a quick visit. In fact, his time with us already seems like a blurry flash of my camera, a sudden burst of bright light that has already disappeared among our busy days.

But it left me feeling humbled. Because no matter how well I’ve adapted to Patrick’s absence and how busy and full my life is, saying good-bye to my child is still hard. It leaves me feeling blue and it makes me aware that Letting Go happens in waves. And there is a natural ebb and flow to my feelings.


via maya angelou via lou boos and shoes.blogspot

When he comes home again, it reminds me how much I miss hearing his laughter in the next room, and how much I miss talking to him whenever I want, but instead of that sharp, breathless ache I felt when we dropped him off at school, now there is only a soft echo of sadness. I feel it immediately after he leaves when I glance at his empty bedroom. But it’s getting easier.

Saying good-bye to my nineteen year old son will never feel completely right, but mostly because it reminds me that he doesn’t live at home anymore. After all, isn’t that what good-byes really do? Good-byes are like glaring headlights that illuminate the fact that we live in different places.



I think this is the reason why sending one’s teenager off to college is so emotional. it’s the craziness of needing a map to find your child. Personally, having miles of physical distance between myself and my son is still a bizarre reality to deal with; and it’s the part of the-letting-go- experience that goes against every maternal impulse that I have, only somehow, it’s become our new normal.

Because I’m learning that Letting Go means acknowledging that nothing ever stays the same.


via witanddelight.tumblr

And although I feel those twinges of sadness when I send Patrick back to school again, I’m also aware that I have sunny, buoyant feelings about his departure. I get excited when I hear the happiness in his voice and listen to the exuberant details of his new life as a college student. And I’m captivated by this new stage of his life. And our family’s life.

Maybe that’s the startling, unforeseen part of Letting Go that I’m realizing; it’s the sheer joy that happens when I stand back and witness my sons growing, adapting, and expanding before my eyes.



Oh, and there’s one more thing I’ve learned. When I’m letting go of someone I love, being grateful really helps.


Can you relate to this post? Have you had the college experience yet? Tell me what you’ve learned about Letting Go … I’d love to hear you thoughts.

thank you dear friends for stopping by!




Lori Wildenberg said...

Thanks for following my blog! We are on the same page! Blessings to you! :)

Lori Wildenberg said...

Hope you get a Patrick sighting soon! We are on the same page! Blessings!

Tamera Beardsley said...

Leslie ... I keep coming back to your blog ... even though my to do list today is very long. I am so captivated by your writings ... and your wise advice. You and I have walked similar roads of late ... with some exceptions ...

I have adjusted to my daughter being at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo ... we are are closer than ever ... and I love our adult relationship. My youngest son is 17 and a senior this year .... and he has profited from being the youngest ... as I believe my parenting priorities are in much better focus these days.

It is my second son ... who has basically estranged himself from the family that adds a new layer of looking for answers and finding new bouderies that has occupied my thoughts recently... it's a whole different kind of letting go ... of admitting even to myself ... we can't always control the direction of our children ... as heartbreaking as that may be to watch bad decisions being made ... and lies continually told.

I apologize for leaving such a long comment ... it wasn't even my attention ... but somehow the words kept flowing. Just know I adore the richness of your blog ... Thank you so for sharing your heart.

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