For Every Mom Who Has to Let Go

It’s mid-August and for many of us that means a transition for our kids–and, by default, for us. Maybe you’re sending a child off to college. Maybe you’re launching a child into adulthood. Maybe your baby is going to pre-school, or middle-school, or high school.

For a mom, their transition is your transition.

This afternoon I stumbled on a post I wrote several years ago. It made me cry.

But it also helped ease the anxiety transitions bring. I know it will help you, too. So grab a tissue and enjoy!

August, 2011: He’s off.

This morning our family drove Taylor to the airport, said our good-byes, and watched our son walk though the airport doors to spend a year in El Salvador.

One.

Whole.

Year.

Last night he slept soundly in the bed that’s been his since childhood. Tonight he sleeps far away from the comforts and familiarity of home. But he is just where he is supposed to be.  And strangely, I’m OK.  Because I know the safest place to be is not in the warm surroundings I’ve tried to create for my family. No, the safest place to be is snack dab in the middle of God’s will.

Earlier this week we took the kids to Lake Arrowhead – a favorite spot we’ve been visiting at least twice a year since Taylor was born. This time we borrowed two wave runners to bring along. Since we have a family of five,  I rode with Taylor. With his mom on board he drove cautiously–not because of his preference, mind you–but because he knows that’s the way I like things. Safe. Secure. Only just enough bumps to make things interesting.

After a few laps around the lake I motioned for him to take me back to shore. I loosened my grip around my broad-shouldered boy and hopped off. Why? Because I wanted him to navigate the waters the way he wanted, not the way I wanted. I wanted him to fly over the breaks. To soar over the water. To go where he wanted to go as fast as he wanted to go. And you just can’t do that with your mom holding you tightly.

Today it dawned on me that our experience on the lake – Taylor’s and mine – is not unlike our experience as parent and child.  If you want your child to soar, you have to let go. 

Fear based parenting is no way to raise a child. No, wait. Fear based parenting is no way to raise an adult. So whether it’s kindergarten or camp, dating or driving, eventually we must loosen our grip and let our child venture beyond our reach.

And so today I let go.

Because with all my heart I want that boy to soar.

Sons are a heritage from the LORD,
children a reward from him.

  Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are sons born in one’s youth.

Psalm 127:2-4

If you want your child to soar, you have to let go. Click To Tweet

Since I originally wrote this post, we’ve experienced other transitions, too. Last summer this boy of mine became a husband. The take away?

Love your children well while they are under your roof, and they will love others well when they are not.

Love your child well when he is under your roof, and he'll love others well when he is not. Click To Tweet

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7 Comments
  1. Sharon R Piccari

    Thanks Donna for the Scripture. Our Grandson is leaving for the Army and I posted this verse in his Bible that the Family is giving to him. His name is Nicholas, this is Lisa’s son, from CCO. Blessings

  2. Sharon R Piccari

    Donna This verse was perfect to Post in Our Grandson’s Family Bible. He is leaving for the Army September 5th.
    Thanks for shring these verses. His name is Nicholas, this is Lisa’a Son. Yu spoke at the Ladies Conference at CCO.

  3. Kathy Woodtke

    Thank you! I have 2 “boys”. My eldest is heading off to college. This Spring he was involved in a car accident. His 1st call was Mama…..”I think I’ve been in a wreck, I don’t know where I am”. A nightmare of mine realized.
    My boy, needs and deserves to soar. My fears should not and will not limit him.
    He did and we did everything right. It does not stop bad things from happening. I do not have control, God does. As a type A, critical nurse, and mom, I slowly come to realize this, I did my best. It is now up to my “boy” and my belief in God. I have fear but I see great things. If I a mere human love my son as much as I do, how much does our loving Father.

  4. Donna,
    I loved this post! It was perfect timing. We are moving our oldest son into the dorm for his freshman year at Texas A&M on Sunday.

    I totally agree with you on the parent them to become great adults. I’ll miss him but am so excited for him. And he is in God’s care whether he is under my roof or in the dorm. That’s what really counts!

    Thanks for sharing your experience. (You and I would do great on a wave runner together, BTW!)

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