Parenting is about letting go

Today I was talking with a colleague about her daughter going to pre-school.  This transition is going to be tough.  My friend talked about feeling emotional just labeling her daughter's supplies.  She's dreading the first day when she leaves her little one at preschool.  Already my friend knows she'll be mourning the end of the "little" stage.  She told me that she had recently heard someone say that as our children grow up, parenting is all about letting go.  We must let our children go for them to be their best selves.

Letting go allows our children to grow and become stronger.  It also allows us, as parents, to grow and become stronger, too.  We learn that our children can navigate the ups and downs of life with varying degrees of support, eventually on their own.  This is what we want for our children.  This is what our children need from us.

When my friend talked about letting go, my thoughts went to our family's situation.  We, too have had to learn to let go in the course of the last 35 years.  We had to allow Lacy to learn to deal with difficulties on his own, with support from us and the professionals that have supported all of us over the years.  Lacy has become stronger, and we have become more confident in his ability to adjust to new and challenging situations.

Now, though, we are hanging on.  We want to draw closer, not pull away.  I imagine our feelings are no different that the feelings of any parent who is facing the death of their child.  We want to hang on to every moment.  We are holding Lacy close.  Our grip can't change the inevitable.  We must prepare ourselves to let go.


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