Sunday, 19 May 2013

Letting Go. Again.

When the hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, finally agrees to go on an adventure with him, Gandalf looks at him and says "Home is now behind you. The world is ahead."

From the moment our children are placed into our arms, we have to let them go. Each step is a difficult one and feels as though a part of our heart is being ripped out. But it's the right thing to do. Home, that safe and secure place where they are loved and accepted, eventually needs to be left behind so that they can experience the thrill of adventure and discover who and where they are going to be. Our arms, however, find it hard to let go.

Even today, as I watched Toby fall off his scooter and roll across the skatepark, I had to stop myself running to his aid. I ran across the park, ready to comfort him, until Jared shouted at me to stop. Stop?! My boy is hurt! It took all my self control to stand still and watch him pick himself up, dust himself off and walk, coolly, off the skatepark.

"I had to stop myself coming to help you Tobes." I moaned at him.
"Well I'm glad you did!" He retorted. Rightly so, he had no idea of the inner battle that raged within me. He only thought of how embarrassing it would be if I had continued running and reached him, in full view of all the pant-showing cool young men who frequent the skatepark.

This week my boy is going to Paris, without me. Without my arms to hug him at night and stroke his hair. Without my eyes to find his lost shoe. Without my common sense to stop him doing something silly like leaning over the side of the ferry to look for dolphins. Without my ears to listen when he wants to talk.

But I have to let go. In fact, the most loving thing I can do is to let go. Smothering him with 'love' actually traps him and doesn't allow him to be all he was created to be.

So, again, I unwrap my arms from him. I tell him he is going to have an adventure. I am excited for him. I listen to him telling me how he is going to play 'bogies' on the Eiffel Tower (I'd rather not know those sorts of details). I help him pack. I stop myself hugging him every time he is anywhere near me. I control my tongue when I want to remind him, yet again, to 'make sure you stay with your group'. I pray for him, privately, and entrust him into the safe arms of his Father in heaven (far safer than my arms, I remind myself). I remember that it is only a week and that one day it will be forever.

And I save my tears for when he is gone. For when home is behind him and the only the world is ahead.

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