These are the days of letting go. When leaves begin to fall, little children leave home to attend school for the first time, young adults leave for college or head off to work sometimes far away.
Saying goodbye at pre-school and kindergarten was tough. But the days our kids left for college were the most challenging, tear-filled days for me. I knew that, just like trees let their leaves go, I had to let go also. But I didn’t want to. I was clinging to the way it had been that I loved and was unwilling to loosen my grasp. This only caused more pain and wasn’t allowing space for new growth. Change is hard. Letting go, for me, was harder. I wondered if this would be the end of my Mom job.
Then, seemingly randomly, I read a quote: “the proof of good parenting is the child’s ability to live independently.”
We were all adjusting, simultaneously entering another season of our lives. It wasn’t just me that was letting go. I knew the kids were too and this presented an opportunity to lead the way.
Our young adults were starting to live on their own and making their own decisions. Leaving their childhoods behind meant my job description was changing, not ending.
If I accepted the way things were, I could embrace learning and embodying resilience as my new job description. I could support and celebrate their independence as I learned along with them. And this understanding brought joy instead of suffering. My job description simply transformed. It wasn’t over.
Shortly after those fall days of change, everyone was home for the holidays. I realized things couldn’t be the same as before and there was joy in the new normal. But I set as my goal, the celebration of their fledgling independence and encouraging their path to its achievement, right along with my own.
I’ll always miss (and idealize) our time together as they grew up. But I still have a Mom job. As youthful parenting joys and challenges arise and change like clouds in my memory, I’m grateful for this season too. I’m surrendering to life’s flow for their benefit and my own.
Going with it,