Thursday, December 13, 2012

Letting Go

Recently I took Jake to take a test for advanced learning placement in school. It was a decision Cameron and I had debated and ultimately left in Jake's hands, and he elected to take the test. So one afternoon (the day after Jake had the flu) we sprinted across town in rush-hour traffic for day one of a three-day testing process. We met Cameron there and he went with Jake while I took the girls home.

I was surprised by the flood of emotions I felt as I walked away holding Abby's hand on one side and balancing Grace on my other hip. Jake has always been very intelligent--at times I have wondered if I have the capacity to provide the right opportunities to sufficiently challenge his growth. I felt a calm confidence that Jake was prepared and I had done what I could as a mother to prepare him. I could walk away, let go, and trust his abilities.
Then my mind sprinted forward through the decades. He will graduate from high school, serve a mission, go to college, marry, start a family. In each instance I will need to take another step back, trust his innate goodness and abilities, and let go. I will hope and pray for his success.

"Making the decision to have a child is momentous. 
  It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking 
around outside your body,"--Elizabeth Stone

Motherhood is a paradoxical journey. It is loving your children so deeply and fiercely and sacrificing yourself to teach and prepare them. Then it is releasing them, letting them go, hoping you've given them the right tools, trusting, and standing back to watch them fly.

Two days later Cameron and Jake left early on a Saturday morning for the final day of testing. Five minutes later the phone rang; Jake was calling because he hadn't given me and the girls hugs and kisses before leaving. He blew a kiss into the phone for me. I silently cried. One day my boy will grow up and move away. Thank goodness for now he's still mine to hold.

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