Thursday, 21 July 2011

This Letting Go Business

When our boys were babies, we dedicated them to God. Although this might mean different things to different parents, in my mind I was giving them to God, for Him to do with as He chose. Whilst I took it seriously and was careful to make sure I meant what I was promising, I didn't find it especially emotional. Actually, I thought I had this 'letting go' business all wrapped up. Little did I know....

Almost 10 years on, having spent all that time wiping noses, playing tickle monster, reading stories, making penguins out of play dough and carrying a pack of baby wipes in my bag wherever I go, I have built a relationship with my boys which is deep rooted, precious and painful all at the same time. The 'letting go' business has changed somewhat.

Tomorrow, my biggest boy leaves his First School and prepares himself for Middle School. Walking to school without me, making friends with people I don't know, meeting unknown teachers and beginning his long journey into young manhood. At the same time, my littlest boy leaves his playgroup of 2 years to begin the nursery at school. This marks the end of an era for me, and the beginning of another one. As I prepare for tomorrow's events I reflect back, look ahead, and wonder. Have I done enough for Toby? Did I do all I was supposed to do before he reached the 'all knowing' age of 10? What will the next few years bring? How will he develop?

As I watch their sleeping faces tonight, I feel that pull on me to hold on to this moment. Why must Jonah's lovely little feet turn into smelly teenage boy feet? Why must Max one day sleep in a normal bed instead of in a sleeping bag on the floor under his desk? Will Toby's sleeping face one day not look like his baby sleeping face? Will Jonah one day not snuggle up to little doggie? I want to bottle the moment and keep it forever.

One day, my house will be clean. There will not be sticks, marbles, bouncy balls and odd pieces of lego littering the floor. I will not have a toilet that smells of wee. I will not find telltale crumbs on the kitchen worktop where someone has had a sneaky snack. I will not have to have my ears blasted by the tv when I turn it on because the last person had the volume so loud. I will not have a pile of muddy wellies by the front door. It will be quiet. I will only have 2 meals to cook. My washing basket will not be overflowing.

This letting go business has to happen piece by piece, moment by moment and stage by stage. I am about to begin another stage. They don't tell you in antenatal classes about the pain of letting your children go. There is no pain relief offered. It is just another part of motherhood.


Anonymous said...

Just tried to leave a lovely long comment - but it was lost in publishing! Helen, you're both doing a great job - you had a lovely example set by your parents. Yes, it's hard work, but know that even in the midst of toothpaste wars (- or in the midst of finding your little daughter sitting on the floor sourrounded by the front 50% sections of her long blonde hair which she's just cut off with scissors!!!!) your wise and godly parenting is not going unnoticed! We can't "freeze" those precious times, but can re-live them through conversations, photos and memories. Enjoy these precious gifts while they're with you. xxx Brenda Harwood - p.s. saw a lovely video this week which reminds me of this - see "Trace Adkins - Just Fishin". xxx

beth said...

Your blog is so true. First day back at school i could almost cry at them growing up after our best family summer yet. Your other blogs are great reminders we are training our sons to be strong gentle Godly men. Its great to know others feel the same pull, especially for the first born. You're blog is such a big blessing and motivator.