Saturday, February 16, 2008
Loving and letting go
Here's an example of love: getting up at 5:15 AM on a Saturday morning to drive your son to meet a group to go on a ski trip to Indiana. Actually, another example is letting go enough to let your son go in the first place. I don't think of myself of "overprotective" or "smothering" (if you do, please don't tell me). I have sent Daniel to CentriKid camp for five days at a time for the past four summers, starting when he was almost nine years old. Each time, he came back in one piece and couldn't wait to go back. He was never "homesick," in fact, he was usually "campsick" once he got home, missing his friends and the overall good experiences he'd had. So, why did I suddenly feel anxiety the day AFTER I sent in the permission slip and money for him to go on this ski trip? All I can figure is, besides the fact that I sometimes have an overactive imagination, that I am just going through some "growing pains" as a mom. Part of parenting is learning to let go. Thankfully, you do it gradually, from the first Sunday you put him in the nursery at church, until the first day of college and beyond. Daniel will be turning thirteen in July, so I think that just as he is experiencing mixed feelings about growing up and leaving his childhood behind, his mom is dealing with the anxieties of letting go. The common denominator for each of us needs to be trusting God. He knows the whole picture and is with us as we go through each day. He is with our children when we can't be. He gives us the strength and courage to parent them and to "hold them loosely" in our hand. I'm continually thankful for my Immanuel, "God with us" and when I feel the anxiety building, I will try to let go and believe that He is holding us with His righteous right hand (Isa. 41:10).