Flashback to 2012. Our oldest was a senior in high school — and I was a mess! Every “last first” had me in tears. Last first day of school. Last final exams. Last Christmas break. Last spring break. All those lasts were really rough on this mama’s heart. I cried. A lot.
Then there were all the new things. College acceptance to a school NINE HOURS FROM HOME! Senior pictures. Senior prom. Senior awards. Last day of school. Graduation.
Whatever is a mom to do? This person — by the way, totally ready for college even if I wasn’t — had been mine to nurture and protect for 18 years. My “job” as full-time mom was coming to an end, relegated to “part-time parent.”
At least that is how it felt.
I did a lot of things wrong that year. I held on tight. Too tight. I insisted we do “all the things” — big vacation, graduation party, announcements with professional photos. All the things. A lot of the things he didn’t want to do. Like photos (though he’s a pretty good sport).
A lot of the things that just made it crazy at home — like remodeling the kitchen so it would look nice for the party.
I know I’m not the only one! Right?
If I could go back, I’d simplify things a bit.
Okay. A lot.
He didn’t care about a lot of the “lasts” that meant so much to me. He would have been happy with a simplified end to it all.
But, I did one thing right…
I gave him wings.
And that, dear mamas, is what I hope you get from this post!
Give him wings
I may have gone a bit crazy with celebrating all the lasts and firsts and last firsts of his childhood. But, I never forgot the one thing that mattered most.
Through it all, I told him repeatedly,
I know you are ready to go…. I’m trying to keep up.
I meant it.
His job is to go. To soar. To become all he is meant to be.
Let it happen.
Give him wings.
BUT HOW do parents let kids go?
Sweet mamas, as you feel your heart being ripped from your chest, KNOW that this isn’t forever. He’s not leaving you. He’s becoming him.
He needs to know you are proud. That you believe in him. That you know he is ready.
Cry your tears. Because, it’s okay to grieve the end of something. After all, this has been your job 24/7 for 18 years. Your world is changing as much as his. So, cry your tears.
BUT… let go.
Open your hand.
Let him soar — confidently into his new world with the assurance that you believe in him. That you are proud. That you KNOW he is ready. And, that you can’t wait to see what’s next.
Because, all this time, you weren’t raising a kid.
You were raising an adult — one ready to step into a world that needs him, his talent and sense of humor.
And he needs to know from you, more than anyone else in this world, that you KNOW he is ready for the world.
So, cry your tears. Even if he sees you cry.
But let him know, that’s just you — letting go. And that you are excited. You are proud. And you are confident he is ready for the next stage.
Because, mama, your confidence in him is the best gift he’ll ever receive.
Congratulations on this achievement. You made it!