"Your children are not your children, they are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself. They came through you but not from you and though they are with you yet they belong not to you." ~ Kahlil Gibran
Transition time means taking stock, moving on, shedding false selves and re-defining myself as I enter the second half of my life. Another unexpected part of the process is slowly letting go as my children become teens and young adults.
Perhaps it happens to other parents, but once in a while I run smack into the reality that my children are almost grown. When I was a small child I once walked into a plate-glass door, it was so crystal clear that I failed to see the glass- I was focusing on the flowers I saw in the lobby. Dizzy and shaking I was momentarily stunned. That best describes the feeling that slams into me occasionally when I am faced with the irrefutable evidence that my children are on the fast track to adulthood.
The first wave hit me years ago, when my oldest son graduated from the eighth grade. I was warned by my oldest brother and sister-in-law law that the next four years would pass quickly, and they were right. Before I could completely come to terms with the fact that I had a child old enough to be in high school he moved on to college five states away.
Letting go of him, trusting that he would be okay without me in his daily life was hard. Each decision he made: moving off campus with friends, driving back to Florida instead of flying, living with his newly diagnosed medical condition far from home, filled me with anxiety. Once during a phone conversation, my son calmly acknowledged all of my anxieties and finally said, "Mom, I know how hard it is for you. I know you want me safe, but I am 20 years old. I've got to do this some time."
And he was right. It's time for me to let go again. I've had to trust my son to make the right choices, to step back and show him that I believe in him.
Now comes the realization that in less than a month, my life will change again. My middle child will be leaving for college. I cannot believe that his four years of high school have gone by in the blink of an eye. In a couple of weeks he will be hugging me goodbye, and once again I will have to let go and trust that my child has the good sense and maturity to handle it.
When I went through labor, I thought that was the hardest thing I had ever done, but I was wrong. Letting go is by far, the more wrenching, and painful process of being a parent.
Causes Annette Talbert Supports
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, RIF (Reading is Fundamental),
Hands On Foundation, Dignity U Wear, Girls, Inc.