Letting Go NBD

Parenting: Letting Go--NBD

Published August 8, 2012

These days, in my world of parenting, I’m experiencing some serious déjà vu. See, when Trellace was about to start kindergarten (ya know, yesterday), good-hearted folk, attempting to be encouraging, offered familiar platitudes. Things like, “Oh she’s ready!” or “She’ll do great,” or “She’ll be fine! Don’t worry.” Now she’s going away to college, and those tired expressions have been roused for the occasion.

People mean well. They do. But what these helpful soothsayers don’t seem to realize is that I know all this. Really, I know better than anyone how perfect Georgetown University is for my daughter, how great she will do there, how ready she is. I am not at all worried about her.

And frankly, there is nothing—absolutely nothing—I want more than for my children to grow up. I have friends whose children never got to grow up. Growing up is a part of life, and I want my children to have full, productive, grown-up lives.

Consequently, I want to let go. I’m excited for Trellace as she enters this new stage. I am delighted that she gets to go to go to her dream college, to live in her favorite city, and to study in a rich, challenging environment.  Also, I want the world to experience how great my girl is, how much she has to offer. I don’t want to hide her under a bushel when her light is so bright. I want her to shine, in DC and in the world.

It’s just . . . well . . . even though I want to let go it’s really, really hard.

See I want the change; I just can’t bear it. I want her to grow up, to leave home, to become all God intends her to be. And I can’t bear it.

I can’t bear the idea that I won’t see her for months at a time. I can’t bear being out of touch. I just can’t bear it.

It will never be the same. Sure, we will be home base, but we won’t be home. Not really. This will be the place she visits between semesters, on vacation, before she starts a new job. It will never be the same. Never.

And I’m okay with that. I am.

It’s just . . .  I will miss this. I will really, really miss this.

I have no greater joy than this, to hear that my children are walking in the truth. 3 John 1:4 

About the Author Aileen Lawrimore

Aileen Mitchell Lawrimore is a mother x 3, wife x 28 (years not men), minister, speaker, writer, retreat leader, and lover of beagles and books. She has a lot to say.

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12 comments
laura king says August 8, 2012

I know what you mean. Even though Will will be "right next door" at NC State, it will never be the same. Never. He will come for visits, he won't come home. He's on his own and although, I'm still here when he needs me, he'll need me less, and more. He'll need me less often but his needs will be grown-up needs. It's such a blessing to know they are going off w/ strength of character and faith but it's a similar feel to birth. You are ready for them to be born but the instant they are outside the womb you realize how safe they were inside and now they are vulnerable. This is where faith comes in again for us, dear Aileen. Blessings to you. Peace, too.

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    Aileen Lawrimore says August 8, 2012

    You are so right Laura. I remember feeling exactly that way when mine were born. In addition, I kinda missed them after they were born; I was used to them being a part of me. Every single stage has been wonderful. Truly. And I know this one will be too. It's just hard. Blessings to Will at NCSU and to you. . . and me . . . as we let go.

    Reply
Donna says August 8, 2012

Sounds like a wonderful mom who has brought up her child in the way she should go. No words of wisdom for a proud and breaking heart. Just know you are surrounded by God's Spirit and God's people...including me. Loving you through it!

Donna

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    Aileen Lawrimore says August 8, 2012

    How many ways do I love you Rev. Shook? More than you know, my friend, more than you know.

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Donna K. says August 8, 2012

Ok, here I go.....wiping my eyes as I began reading your words. Yes I was able to hold back the actual tears, but they are all welled up inside of me as I write a comment.
Yes! Yes! Yes! Everything you wrote is true in every way. You want them to go, but in your heart you do say just one more time Lord...can I hold onto them just a little longer when we get to the University. All so normal and it seemed all the parents there saying goodbye were way doing it better than I. No I didn't cry in front of Lauren. I also didn't cry when Megan, ,my last left for college. That is infront of them. I just held it in until we got in the car to drive home and the floodgates of excitement, happiness, and sadness began pouring from my eyes. Why don't men cry! Mike so did not cry but he didn't say a word. Just reading you tell about your daughter brought all of those mixed feelings back. Now on this side of time, my eldest daughter just took the bar and graduated from Duke with her law degree. My youngest Megan is beginning her third year as a Kindergarten teacher for the Durham County School System. God put them in the same city within weeks of each other. Such a miracle from God. Remind me to share this with you when we go for lunch! All the inbetween stories are so good. So many to share here. I know exactly how you feel and it is just ok to feel the things you feel, think those thoughts, and blog about all of it. It is still so fresh in my memory but now I can say that it is a bit better. But you don't want to settle for it's all worked out now! No, you cherish even these memories.....because I have been living through all the new memories and they will all be good. Reflecting back things are not the same....but better! I gained a son when Lauren got married. I have watched Megan move out on her own, taking total control of her life whether I likedit or not..but I am so proud of them. I am still their mom and always will be and that is that! Sending hugs(((((((((((((((((((Aileen)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

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Melanie M says August 11, 2012

Your words are eloquent, timely, and much needed. My baby girl leaves for college in 5 days..

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Lois Jones says August 24, 2013

The pain is real, knowing is real, letting go in your heart, not so much. It doesn't really help that others have lived though it but they have and are. You are not alone.

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    Aileen Lawrimore says August 24, 2013

    The only thing close to this is taking her to Kindergarten. You remember that day, don't you Lois? 🙂 (Thanks for loving my kids. It's mutual!)

    Reply
Cathy Wanamaker says May 23, 2016

So precious! Knowing the Mother you are, I can't help but feel Trellace feels the same way you do. It's probably hard to let go on her end as well. We raise our kids and let go but we as parents never let 'go'.

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