Letting Go, Reaching Out

Nothing says "Jesus lives" like processed sugar...
Nothing says “Jesus lives” like processed sugar…

Yesterday I went for a morning run. I jogged past houses with parents in robes watching their children hunt for Easter eggs. I smiled when the kids squealed with delight and knew they’d found one of the colorful prizes. I remembered those days when my kids would be so thrilled to find a bright orange egg “hidden” in the middle of a freshly-mowed lawn.

My boys are 12 and 9 so they are past this, which does make me a little sad. In fact, my 12-year-old’s reaction to his Easter basket was, “This is so lame. I got up early for this?” Well, he didn’t actually say these words (I don’t know if “lame” is even used by his generation) – I just put words to his grunts and eye rolls. Even the cookies-and-cream Easter bunny and enough candy to send him into a diabetic coma failed to impress him.

I feel both of my kids stretching for their independence and I struggle to step back and let them explore. I let them ride their bikes to the park without hovering over them (but make them call me every hour just to make sure they are okay.) The Easter Bunny must sense my desire to keep reaching out to my sons because they each received a game in their basket, which we can play together. I won’t push it, but if they ask for my time to play, it’s theirs.

My younger son hasn’t quite gotten to the separation age, so I have him for a while longer. My 12-year-old, on the other hand, is horrified at the thought of being seen in public with me.  At home, he will visit with me… sometimes. He may not be reaching out to me, but I have to keep trying.  When the day comes that he does need me, I want him to know I’m right here.



47 thoughts on “Letting Go, Reaching Out

  1. suzicate April 6, 2015 / 6:27 AM

    Those little steps of letting go make it a bit easier, but still mom’s can’t help but worry at least a little. Here’s to spreading wings!

    • jannatwrites April 8, 2015 / 5:42 PM

      Thank goodness there are increments in there so it doesn’t induce panic! Thanks for stopping by, Suzicate 🙂

  2. Tessa April 6, 2015 / 6:41 AM

    At least the time will pass and they will be seen with you again. My son and I have a great relationship now.

    • jannatwrites April 8, 2015 / 5:43 PM

      I’m glad you do have a good relationship with your son, Tessa. I believe he will come back to me some day as well 🙂

  3. Nurse Kelly April 6, 2015 / 7:09 AM

    I’ve been through these phases already with my 18 and 15 year old…brought back memories! They’re both old enough now that they jokingly say they want egg hunts again just for old times sake. We progressed over the years from candy in the eggs, to money in the eggs, to gifts now. But this year they both went on spring break trips, one in college and the other with his rowing team, so that expense topped them all as far as Easter gifts

    • jannatwrites April 8, 2015 / 5:44 PM

      That is a great spring break for them, Nurse Kelly! They do get more expensive as they get older. Yikes 😦

      • Nurse Kelly April 8, 2015 / 5:46 PM

        They sure do! And of course we come last again…but that’s nothing new!

        • jannatwrites April 8, 2015 / 5:59 PM

          Between feeding them and their activities, I know where most of my income goes, haha!

        • Nurse Kelly April 8, 2015 / 6:01 PM

          Absolutely! Kids are very expensive these days – esp with all the technology they must have!

        • jannatwrites April 8, 2015 / 6:04 PM

          True, Nurse Kelly! We don’t even have a lot of the technology… but last year, we had to pay $300 for a Boy Scout trip to Lake Powell and just two days ago, there was another couple hundred dollars for a rafting trip. Ouch. I won’t complain too much though… we haven’t resorted to Top Ramen for dinner, so it’s not that bad 🙂

        • Nurse Kelly April 8, 2015 / 6:12 PM

          You need to do more fundraisers – make those kids earn money for their trips!

        • jannatwrites April 8, 2015 / 6:15 PM

          They do some. Living in a small town has advantages and disadvantages when it comes to fundraising. The do have a pancake breakfast in May that was a hit last year

        • Nurse Kelly April 8, 2015 / 6:20 PM

          Anything helps! My kids babysit, pet sit, mow lawns, shovel snow – you name it. Have to teach a good work ethic.

  4. momsomniac April 6, 2015 / 10:27 AM

    This make me so glad my oldest (age 10) isn’t precocious about much of anything except in what he reads. He hunted eggs with gusto this week-end.

    • jannatwrites April 8, 2015 / 5:45 PM

      That’s so cool, Momsomniac! Hunting eggs is fun… I kind of miss it 🙂

  5. Debbie April 6, 2015 / 11:18 AM

    Domer still gets candy for Easter (though not enough for a diabetic-induced coma, ha!). Some years ago, when he passed the traditional age for egg hunts, we decided to hold one for the Sheltie. Domer helped me insert treats in each of the plastic eggs, then hide them, and “help” Dallas find them. Everybody won — Dallas got food, Domer participated in the egg hunt, and I got to see both my “boys” playing! Don’t worry, Janna, this phase, too, shall pass. As long as you keep the lines of communication and love open, they’ve eventually respond!

    • jannatwrites April 8, 2015 / 5:46 PM

      A little candy is nice (I even like to eat a little bit of candy!) That is a fun idea with the doggie egg hunt. We still haven’t played the games, but when things settle down, I plan to make a “take out and game night” a weekly event so there will be opportunity.

  6. nrhatch April 6, 2015 / 12:08 PM

    OK . . . since you went for a jog you can sneak some of their “unwanted” candy. 😛

    • jannatwrites April 8, 2015 / 5:47 PM

      Oh, I’ve been sneaking away, Nancy. Pretty sure I have chocolate running through my veins by now 🙂

  7. Widdershins April 6, 2015 / 1:09 PM

    Sometimes ‘mindful parenting’ is a pain in the heart, eh?

    • jannatwrites April 8, 2015 / 5:48 PM

      Haha, your comment made me laugh, Widdershins. So true 🙂

  8. joannesisco April 6, 2015 / 2:07 PM

    As our children grow and stretch their independence, it becomes a learning experience for everyone.

    At a fairly young age, I learned to treat and talk to my sons like *adults*. They really responded to it and it didn’t preclude periods of silliness – because aren’t we all sometimes? I don’t know if that’s the reason I never went through a difficult stage with either of them as teenagers. We were respectful of them and they were respectful of us … not perfectly of course, but close enough 😉

    • jannatwrites April 8, 2015 / 5:51 PM

      There is a lot to how you talk to them and ask them to do stuff. The kids fight a lot, more than I have issues with either of them. I guess I can’t have it all 🙂

        • jannatwrites April 8, 2015 / 6:01 PM

          Would be nice to have more, though, haha!

  9. Lance April 6, 2015 / 5:30 PM

    My girls are 19, 11, and 10. I know how you feel.

    I’m here

    • jannatwrites April 8, 2015 / 5:51 PM

      Yep, that’s about all we can do, Lance 🙂 Good to know others can relate to the push and pull…

  10. Carol Ann Hoel April 6, 2015 / 5:56 PM

    This, too, shall pass. Ha! Really. It will. Blessings to you, Janna…

    • jannatwrites April 8, 2015 / 5:52 PM

      The only concern is what it passes too, Carol Ann 🙂 (It could be something worse!)

  11. Emilio Pasquale April 7, 2015 / 12:01 PM

    Thank you, Janna, for your comment about my grandfather. I do not envy what you are going through right now as I am sure you do not envy me. Maybe Thoreau was right when he said, “The mass of men (and women) lead lives of quiet desperation”. It’s just that some of us get more desperate than others, I think! Hang in there. Your 12 year old will soon be 13 and then the fun really begins!

    • jannatwrites April 8, 2015 / 5:56 PM

      Thanks for the “encouragement” Emilio 🙂 You trying to get me slip off a cliff, haha? It is a time of contemplation right now… that’s how life goes sometimes. At least there are joyful times sprinkled in, which is reason enough to keep on.

  12. jstansfeld April 7, 2015 / 1:35 PM

    Lovely piece – having children is such a joy and the letting go a fine line between the need to protect and the need to allow them to become independent. They are boys so their teenage relationship with you, their mother, ought to be less strained than if they were girls.

    • jannatwrites April 8, 2015 / 5:58 PM

      I’m hoping we will have a decent relationship, Jane. I do think it would be more difficult with daughters. Scary thought!

  13. dilip April 8, 2015 / 8:12 AM

    Nice topic thought provoking. As parents we need to focus on imparting values to our kids. They must be trusted and allowed freedom to make their own decisions to build their self-confidence. Its not easy as it is our attachment and possessiveness which comes in the way.

    • jannatwrites April 8, 2015 / 5:59 PM

      You’re right, Dilip. When we pass along our values, it does give the framework to make better decisions when we aren’t there to tell them what to do.

    • jannatwrites April 15, 2015 / 9:23 PM

      Thanks for the nomination – I appreciate you stopping by, Moonlight 🙂

  14. agjorgenson April 9, 2015 / 6:37 PM

    When our three girls were teenagers, we would often find that late at night, while we were watching tv, they would slip down into the rec room and start talking. We just had to be ready because they came on their own terms at their own time.

    • jannatwrites April 15, 2015 / 9:25 PM

      This made me smile. I guess because we don’t have to lose our teens… we just have to accept being there is enough… and then be patient 🙂

  15. pattisj April 13, 2015 / 8:11 PM

    There are so many hard ages–three, when they want to do everything themselves (no longer needing us)–tween to teen, whatever age that inevitably hits, they don’t want us to know what they’re doing and to please leave them alone–this pulling away is like letting go of the yo-yo, eventually, the yo-yo winds back to you. I noticed when my daughter and I would walk in the evenings, she would talk non-stop.

    • jannatwrites April 15, 2015 / 9:35 PM

      The different stages at least warm us up to the occurrence of the eventual separation and launch into their own lives. But it is true, adulthood does bring children back, although with a slightly different dynamic 🙂

  16. GodGirl April 19, 2015 / 2:55 PM

    The transition stage you’re in sounds complex, and you’re managing it well. Of course you want them to have independence/ spread their wings, but for them to know you’re always there. We all need that from our parents, at every age and stage – even if we might not admit it…

    • jannatwrites April 19, 2015 / 10:47 PM

      I’m not sure I’m managing it well, GodGirl, but I am trying 🙂 Time will tell how well I did… and I’m sure I will see things in retrospect that I could have done differently.

  17. M_Elizabeth April 24, 2015 / 6:53 PM

    The caption on the photo made me laugh. And keep reaching Janna. I always was lucky to have my dad in my corner and knew anytime I needed him he was there. It’s a wonderful way to grow up and one of the things I’m most grateful for. My Mom was there too – most times….when we weren’t driving each other nuts :).

    • jannatwrites April 26, 2015 / 12:55 PM

      You’re the first one to comment on the caption, M! I’m glad you had/have the support of your dad (and mom). We appreciate that more when we get older, I think. Glad you stopped by!

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