Whether your child has started kindergarten this fall or college, letting go always tugs at a mother’s heart. The saying “You are only as happy as your least happy child” is so true. Watching an innocent five-year-old climb the steps of the bus with tears in his eyes, or listening to a homesick freshman describe a lonely Saturday night in the dorm tugs at the heartstrings of the caring Mom.
We want so much to protect our children from pain and suffering even when we know it is through these tough times that they learn the most. And as the children make the transition from preschooler to kindergartner or high school student to college student we also change, as our roles and responsibilities alter as well.
Learning to let go is one of the most challenging aspects of childrearing. Learning to let the birdies learn to fly, even if their wings flutter a bit at first, can hurt the heart of the loving mom.
Try not to hurt too much and recognize that letting your kids go out in the world and conquer new experiences on their own is the greatest gift you can give them. You will always be there with the Band-Aid or comforting words, giving them the confidence and strength to take their first steps. You can provide them with resources to take their next steps and find their way in the world. It is your job, it is your responsibility, and there is nothing really more important.
Letting go begins as soon as those beautiful babies are born. We can only hold on to them for so long, and soon they instinctually want to go out and explore the world around them. Easier said than done sometimes, but a goal worth fulfilling.
And just for the record, even though I am an empty-nester, I am still trying to let go of my birdies – and my own mother has not yet let go of me!