Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Letting Go

I have come to the conclusion that motherhood is a never ending process of letting go.

In the beginning, they are a part of us.  We hold on tight for nine months, aware of every movement, every change, because we are one.  And then we give birth.

We don't want to, but we put them down for naps...for bed...for play.  We are an arm's reach away and ready to comfort at the slightest whimper.  We've let go, but not really.

Then they become mobile.  They sit, they crawl, they walk, they climb, they explore.  We stay close, ready to rush in when needed, but we don't always get there.  They fall, bump and sometimes bleed.  Our heart breaks when we see them hurt, but we know that if they are going to grow we can't always be there.  We have let go a bit more.

Soon we leave for a time.  We are not an arm's reach, or a room's length away.  We have trusted another.  Maybe a grandparent, maybe a babysitter, maybe a daycare provider.  We are not the ones to comfort and care for a time.  It hurts.  We worry.  We call and check.  This time we have let go in a big way...but we have made sure that another is holding on.

At some point however, we let go in a different sort of way.  We don't trust another to care for our child.  We trust our child.  No longer are we worried.  We are petrified.  But we do it.  And the kids do OK.