Letting Go – The Hardest Thing a Mother Will Do
So Thanksgiving is approaching and I will face this day without either of my girls home – a solo holiday. While I have known it was coming for months, I still find it a bit melancholy.
Becoming a Mama Bear
When you have a child, the love you feel for that little human is like nothing you have ever felt or will ever feel again. In a moment, the little person that has just entered the world becomes everything to you. You would die for this little person. There may be times you want to give them back, but ultimately, they are the embodiment of true love. I believe the love between a mother and a child is unlike anything else.
Yes, the father has these feelings of intense love for a child also, but I really think it’s different for a mom. (Disclaimer: I am NOT dissing the importance of dads here!) After you have grown another human under your heart and brought them into the world, there is just nothing like that. You become the ultimate Mama Bear. Don’t mess with my cubs.
Then the cub grows up…..
Then your child starts to get older. They take their first steps, and in doing so, take their first steps away from you. While you are cheering them on and coaxing them to cross the floor to you, you know in your heart, this is the beginning of them walking away from you someday. You cherish each step, each lost tooth, each first day of school, each new experience that builds them into the person they will become. You celebrate their successes, you share in their disappointments. You would do anything you can to make them happy, even when that means standing back and letting them fail once in awhile.
They graduate from elementary school, they graduate from high school – you shed many tears of joy and happiness at these events. You take them to college and shed some more when you leave them in the dorm for the first time. You think those four years will tick by slowly, giving you time – precious time. You cherish the time when they come home for breaks and those last few summers.
You support through the job hunt and through the first apartment. You organize, you move furniture, you hang window treatments. You listen to countless phone conversations helping to navigate the first months on the new job. You still send care packages (although they are little different than the ones you sent in college). Then the phone call comes where she says she is staying at her place 800 miles away for Thanksgiving.
Embracing your grown cub…
Don’t get me wrong, I want nothing more than for my daughters to go and have wonderful lives of their own. It is what I have raised them to do. But I miss them. They are so much fun to hang out with. We have so much fun together. I know we continue to have time together, but it is different now. I know in my heart that’s ok. I hope they know how much their mom loves them. I hope they know I couldn’t be more proud of them. I hope they know how much I celebrate them in every way.
I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again – cherish every moment with your children. Cherish the good times and cherish the trying times. Love them every day and spend time with them. Hold them close and let them go. Then, when you face the holiday without them, you can honestly say, “I did good”. You might cry a little, or a lot. And that’s ok. I think it only shows how much you love your cubs. Letting go is hard, but it will be ok. And on this Thanksgiving, I will thank God for my two greatest achievements and my two greatest friends. My daughters.