One of my children came to me crying. I gave her a hug and said, “What’s wrong?”
She said, “I’m afraid of growing up. I’m afraid of leaving home. I’m afraid of what it’s going to be like to be a grown up.”
And I had to choke back my own emotion and fears, hugging her fears away, and assure her that it would all work out and one day she wouldn’t be able to WAIT to be an adult.
I had to choke my emotions back because I have the same fears. When I imagine them growing up, leaving home, not needing me, being on their own, it brings me to tears. I cry now as I write this, after having an ugly moment with one of my children this morning leaving me feeling like I didn’t handle it the way I should.
That day, I told her, “you only grow up a little bit at a time. Every day you grow up just as much as you need to, no more. Your body and your mind aren’t meant to go from the age you are now to adulthood overnight. It’ll happen so slowly you won’t even really see it.”
But it’ll happen in the blink of an eye. We know that, don’t we? Even in the interminably long moments we endure as parents (like the nightly wake ups Little Iggy is doing once again), we know the old phrase, “The days are long but the years are short.”
Every day I let them go. A little bit at a time.
Some days I reel it out too far, and some days I have to reel it in because they’ve done something they’re not ready for. Some days it’s just right.
But every day?
I let them go.
Linking with Things I Can’t Say today.