Letting Go but Staying Close

I remember holding my screaming baby son one month into motherhood.

I would occasionally state in an exhausted voice, “I cannot WAIT for him to go to school someday!!!”

I even calculated the days one time. (Newborns make you crazy like that).

I thought I would be the mom who loved seeing my kids grow. I would rejoice.

I would skip joyfully out of the school after kindergarten drop off. I would certainly not cry about my new freedom.

Then it finally happened. SCHOOL!! ALL DAY!! YAY!!!

But I certainly DID cry…a lot.

We got through it and found our groove, and I began to feel okay with this “letting go” thing.

But now we are back in school, and the temporary location of the school has made the school bus our best option for transportation.

So I watch him climb on with his buddy each morning and my heart sinks a little.

I have no idea what happens on that bus.

Probably nothing eventful…but it feels like letting go all over again.

So I am learning again.

Learning to let go.

Learning to trust him.

Learning that letting go isn’t the same as withdrawing. I can still be close. I can still ask questions.

And I can still be ready to step in when needed. Not too quick, but at the right moment.

The firstborn teaches you so much and stretches you.

Next year I will do it all over when my daughter goes to kindergarten.

I will let go and stretch in new ways.

And I will finally have that quiet house I have dreamed of for years.

But it will be weird.

I will rejoice to be done with the baby phase. I did not like that phase at all.

I look back on photos of my kids under 1 year old and get super stressed.

So after rejoicing that the babies are gone, I will be left with reality.

I will have to let go. But I will be close when I am needed.