Another Big Step In Letting Go

Well, I finally did it.  I feel it’s important to add that I didn’t cry and even managed a smile.  Last week, I filled out and submitted the registration paperwork for my baby to start Kindergarten.  In August, I will be snapping pictures of my baby all dressed for his first day of school, donning brand-new sneakers that will not look so shiny at the end of the day, and a backpack that is not the stuffed-animal looking bear one that he uses right now. 

Bear Backpack (nearing retirement)

His big boy backpack will be filled with crayons, paper and folders for homework <gasp> instead of stuffed animals and Hot Wheels.  He will be wide-eyed and excited for his new adventure, and I’ll either be at work, or taking the day off to nurse my emotional wounds with a pint (or half gallon?) of mint chocolate chip ice cream.

Some days I want to say, “Can I button your shirt for you?  I know you can do it yourself, but why not let mommy do it for old time’s sake?”  I’d like to think this is somewhat normal, although in reality it’s probably a huge warning sign that I need professional help.  I comfort myself with the fact that I haven’t asked him to wear a diaper for “old time’s sake” – because that would just be wrong, wouldn’t it?  (I’m semi-conscious of the idea that wanting to do stuff for him that he can do himself so I feel needed is just as unfair to him.)

He will never know how much I struggle to step back and let him go.  Since the moment he was born, I’ve been raising him to not need me.  I’ve known this in the back of my mind all along, but distracted myself from it as I changed his diapers, taught him to feed and dress himself and bandaged his scrapes.  When he shied away from independence, hiding behind my legs, I gave him pep talks, patched him up and sent him back into life – all while resisting my urge to keep him hugged tight and protected.

I’ve managed to let him go little by little his entire life.  I pray for the strength to do it again gracefully (and tearlessly) in August.  After all, a little big boy should have his mind on his new adventure, not whether there will be any ice cream left in the house when he gets home 🙂

**********

Speaking of ice cream, I have a special treat in store for Wednesday’s post – a guest.  I will keep you in suspense until then, but on Wednesday, this person will post here and I will post on their blog.  This person suggested that we both write a blog post with the title, “But Everyone Else Is Doing It.”  I agreed it would be a fun idea to see where we each take the topic, so please, check out both posts and let us know what you think!

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16 thoughts on “Another Big Step In Letting Go

  1. Debbie February 28, 2011 / 7:38 AM

    If you think it’s hard sending him off to Kindergarten, wait ’til you have to send him off to College — far from home!! Mom, it doesn’t get any easier, so stock up on ice cream now!

    • jannatwrites February 28, 2011 / 8:06 PM

      Do you hear the sound of paper crinkling? That’s me breathing into a paper bag! Off to college is WAY worse than Kindergarten. I hope I can pull myself together by then 🙂

  2. chlost February 28, 2011 / 9:15 AM

    Debbie’s right, but the hardest is when they get married. It hit me suddenly that if there were an emergency, I would no longer be the contact person, it would be my son’s wife. I would not be the one making any medical decisions about his care, and would have to just watch from the sidelines. Not that any of that was happening, but it was a heart-stopping thought that went through my mind after he was married. But that is our job as a parent. I guess you have done a good job, mom. He’s off to kindergarten and will take on the world and win! One crayon drawing at a time.

    • jannatwrites February 28, 2011 / 8:24 PM

      All right, Chlost. Between you and Debbie, I’m feeling like I may need to bring in reinforcements: fudge brownies 🙂

      I’ve joked around that I’m going to follow them to college…but I haven’t thought too much about marriage. I’ll have to let go by then because I’d hate to be a nightmare mother-in-law!

      I like the image of him taking the world on “one crayon drawing at a time.” I’ll hold onto that for now and not worry about this stuff that will happen years down the road.

  3. Aligaeta February 28, 2011 / 9:16 AM

    Yes, Debbie is right this is another step to prepare you for the future and the ultimate in letting go. Eat your ice-cream and know all of us who have been there feel for you.

    • jannatwrites February 28, 2011 / 8:25 PM

      Thanks, Aligaeta. I know this is what every mom goes through, so I need to suck it up and send him on his way. You all have survived, so surely I’ll make it, too!

  4. Tori Nelson February 28, 2011 / 9:22 AM

    Oh, I can’t stand it! I am not close to letting go, even though I know it is a necessity. You are one strong mama!

    • jannatwrites February 28, 2011 / 8:28 PM

      Oh, Tori – I wish I was strong! The thing is, I’m letting go whether I loosen my grip or not – he’s not going to stop growing up because I’m not ready.

      Your little guy is still so young, letting go shouldn’t be clouding your brain at all yet 🙂

  5. Nicole February 28, 2011 / 1:48 PM

    You will be fine and he will make you proud!

    • jannatwrites February 28, 2011 / 8:30 PM

      Thanks, Nicole! I’m sure I will adjust. I keep reminding myself of the positives so I can look forward to the inevitable.

  6. Carol Ann Hoel February 28, 2011 / 1:54 PM

    Sweet story of motherhood. Blessings to you, Janna…

    • jannatwrites February 28, 2011 / 8:33 PM

      Thanks, Carol. It turns out that letting go is a weak spot. I’m working on that 🙂

  7. nrhatch February 28, 2011 / 3:52 PM

    I give you permission to cry as he marches off to kindergarten in August . . . as long as HE doesn’t see you. 🙂

    I’m intrigued about Wednesday’s posts. Thanks for the heads up.

    • jannatwrites February 28, 2011 / 8:39 PM

      Thanks for the permission, Nancy! I’m going to make every effort not to cry, and I might be able to pull it off as long as I don’t think any deeper than the smile on his face. (I’m fairly sure he will be fine we we leave him because his older brother will be there with him in the morning.)

  8. Brown Eyed Mystic March 1, 2011 / 9:51 PM

    Awww. Kids. Aren’t they the best thing ever now?

    Though I don’t have mine neither do I have the will to have my own for any time soon, I am sure it’s must be a pleasure for awesome moms like yourself . 😉

    -BrownEyed

    • jannatwrites March 1, 2011 / 10:11 PM

      BrownEyed, kids are a strange thing. They go and get me all sappy and weepy about their growing up, then they have a night like tonight where they argue and fight for hours. Tonight, I’m not at all upset about the prospect of them growing up 😉 Tomorrow may be different…

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