Monday, September 2, 2013

Off She Goes........

A great number of "first day of school" pictures flooded my news feed a few weeks ago on Facebook. Pictures of fresh faced kids, new haircuts, backpacks, new shoes, clothes and all else that goes with the first day of school. One picture in particular struck a deep place in my heart.  A mom had taken a snapshot of her little girl on her way to kindergarten.  Mom was behind the little girl as she walked down the tree lined sidewalk well on her way.  The caption read, Off she goes.....

While now I look at pictures of my grand kids' first school days I am so reminded of those "first" days of my kids and how life as a parent is well represented in that mom's picture of the little girl walking away.  From just about the first moments of having kids we are training them and getting them ready to....go.  From steadying them as they first sit up, coaxing them to crawl and encouraging them to walk we are teaching  actions that move them away.  The actions we teach evolve from the physical to the intellectual, emotional and spiritual as their life goes on.  But again all these learning experiences are to get them to the point of, moving on. While the moving forward process often can make us sad we need to remember that it is our goal as parents to raise healthy adults who can think, reason, decide and live honorably on their own. In fulfilling those responsibilities of parenthood it becomes a continual process of.... letting go.

I can remember so many moments of being behind my kids and getting that last glance and smile over the shoulder, walking into that classroom, getting on that bus, getting that diploma, boarding that plane, walking back up that isle now united.  Moments of them walking away from we the parents into their next phase of life.  As they walk from one phase to the next my hope and prayer is that we taught them well enough and helped supply tools for them to figure things out.

So, hold their hands as long as you can but when they start to let go, loosen your grip. It doesn't mean that they don't love or appreciate you it just means that you have taught them well and they are confident and ready for the next step. Do the walk aways ever get easier, not really.  Even though you know as a mom it's the right time and place and you're sending them off in the best of circumstances a little piece from your own heart walks with them.  No matter how grown up they are when they turn to walk away the image of that small child with backpack and new clothes and haircut is ingrained in our minds and it's all we can see.  Our arms and hands let go but our hearts never will.

#firstdayofschool #growingup #lettinggo

photo credit:  Thank you Krystin Risch for the use of your lovely photo and caption.