Sunday, 14 November 2010

Breaking My Webs.

Having analysed the 'tweenage phenomenon' that has made it's surprise visit to our family recently, I have been pondering on the next 'letting go' phase of Toby's life.

All parenthood, from birth until leaving home, is 'letting go'. We cuddle our babies, until eventually they have to sleep on their own. We war through the 'terrible twos', sometimes not realising this is all part of the child's development into independence. We send our tiny little uniformed 5 year old to school, to spend the day with people we have never even met. We teach them to dress themselves, to put on their own shoes, to cross roads safely, to ride bikes, to fall in love (with someone that is not me?!) and eventually to drive (although this will be the job of my ever patient husband).

My current 'letting go' is on so many different levels with each son. Jonah is learning to put on his shoes and coat, and he goes off to playgroup to learn how to be confident without me there. Max is learning to cross roads and to organise himself without my hovering over him constantly (this is more of a challenge). Toby is 'playing out' with his friends. We do not always know where he is or what he is doing. He is safe within the strict boundaries we have given him, but he has to make decisions for himself and hopefully lean on the values and foundations that have been put into his life so far. What needs to be remembered throughout it all is that whilst I may let go of them, they need to be pointed towards their God who will not. I do not expect them to manage 'life' on their own. I do not expect them to be truly independent. We need to teach them to lean on God, who will not leave them. Our job as parents is not to simply relinquish responsibility and leave them hanging, it is to attach them to the strong rope who is their Father in Heaven. When this happens, whilst it will probably be painful, I hope that I will also find immense satisfaction, having completed by primary responsibility as a Mother.

I love this poem, by Evangeline Paterson, about the mixed up feelings of being a Mother:

A Wish for my Children

On this doorstep I stand,
year after year,
to watch you going

and think: May you not
skin you knees. May you
not catch your fingers
in car doors. May
your hearts not break.

May tide and weather
wait for your coming

and may you grow strong
to break
all webs of my weaving.

No comments: