Sunday, August 14, 2011

Letting Them Go and Watching Them Fly

Letting Go

I like to think that my writing serves and inspirational purpose for those that read it. I think in many ways it does. But truth be told, often, I am writing to myself. What I am writing now, I hope will be inspirational or comforting to others, But, admittedly, it is cathartic. It is to help me through a particular phase in my life. Many of you may be in the phase too.

This phase of life is about letting go - specifically, letting kids go.


My girls are now 22, 17, and 14. They are all at milestones in their lives. My oldest is moving out of state for a promotion with her employer. My middle daughter and youngest daughter are a senior and freshman in high school. All of these things are milestones for them.

These milestones are the beginnings of chapters in their lives that are teaching them who and how to be in the world. The are growing, exploring, and taking in the world around them as they are introduced to new ides and new people. They are in a part of their life when they can truly write the words on the pages that make up a huge part of their identity. Opportunities are theirs, unencumbered by obligations and anchors to geographical locations. It is a time when they can spread their wings and take in the wonderful world around them.

These are milestones for me as well. As proud as I am of them, for me in my role as mom, the milestones represent the closing of chapters in my life. Selfishly, I am sad for me that their dependence on me is changing. It is painful as I have to let a part of "me" evolve and change into who they are meant to be, apart from me. It means that I have to evolve into a person that I am not used to being - a person without three other beings in my presence and under my responsibility 24 hours a day. As they discover who they are, I have to rediscover who I am.

Pain and Joy

Although this is hard for me, I would never trade their growth and independence for my own desire to avoid the changes that come along with their blossoming into who they are in the world. God designed us to be want for our children the things that make them complete. It isn't easy, and it isn't fun. It is tough, but I will get through it. I am a mom, and that is what we moms do. We dig in, and we get the job done. What I can take solace in is that the pain of letting them go will be soothed by the joy of watching them fly.

What do you think?


  1. It's never easy letting go and sitting back. We want to hold our children's hands long after they want to let go. I always try to sit back and watch them spread their beautiful wings proud that they allowed me to be part of their lives.

    Good luck to all of you with your next set of milestones.

  2. Around the time we got married my husband and I started talking about exactly what makes a good parent. We both had our little particulars, but we overwhelmingly agreed on one thing: The primary duty of a parent is to enable their children to eventually survive and thrive without them making every decision for them. It is why we allow our child to take minor risks and practice decision making, all to prepare him for when he really is in charge. You have done that with all three of your little hats. Your eldest little hat has passed her training and it is time to put it to practice. You have done a beautiful job with her and your other girls. God is watching, and protecting, and will be healing the hole in mama hat's heart!

  3. Very nice. The hardest part for me was to let them "learn" from their mistakes and not to say "don't do that..." Experience is the best teacher, but we have to be around if they have problems. Even if we know they goofed we need to remember not to say "I told you so".

  4. A good parent - as YOU are - teaches their children to be independent. That independence means we "lose" them a lot sooner than the helicopter parent. Good for you, Angie...and your daughters are all the better for their mom! I know a couple of great boys we could introduce the younger two, too - who are also a senior and freshman in high school!

  5. Thanks for your affirmation that parenting is about nurturing, not protecting (as many parent seem to think). As Kahlil Gibran said, Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of life's longing for itself.
    It's amazing how strong they become when we are have a purposeful role. Gibran said,
    You are the bows from which children as living arrows are sent forth.The archer, their maker sees the mark on the path of the infinite and, He bends you with all His might that His arrows go swift and far.

  6. Gracefully Yours, Thank you for the luck wishes. They are beautiful when they soar.

    Amy - I know what a good parent you are - your affirmation means a lot to me! :)

    Bruce - yes... they do fly sooner when we open up the airspace - and let them be their own life pilots! I thing our kids would be great friends :).

    Alank1 - Yes - our job is to nurture and equip them with the tools they will need to be productive and successful in life. Then we launch them into the world, and they man the sails!


Thank you for taking a moment to leave your thoughts on this post!