I’ve been stretching.
Not the physical type of stretching that will produce more limber joints or toned muscles, but the emotional kind.
This past weekend, our older daughter was invited to attend an area church-sponsored, carnival-type event with one of her friends from school. I would be leaving her in the care of this friend’s mother for several hours. Of course our daughter was quite excited about spending this time with her friend and joining in all of the activities.
I was the one with misgivings. My husband and I determined that it was a safe, age-appropriate outing for her. However, for the first time she would be at a public event without he or I being present.
Who would hold her coat when she got warm – or tell her to put it back on?
Would anyone tell her she’d eaten enough – or needed to eat more?
She had five dollars for spending money; would she remember to get her change if she needed it – or would she lose the money in the first five minutes?
She’s ten. She’s responsible and obedient. Yet this was a big deal for me. While another adult was available, I wouldn’t be – at least not immediately. So, while praying for her safety and protection, I stretched. We allowed her to take another tiny step in the journey toward independence; a journey that will eventually land her on her own two feet, making her own decisions, learning to navigate new situations alone.
Happily, all went well. After three hours, she was excited to see me and chatted all the way home about what she had done.
Looks like I’m not the only one learning to stretch.
Linked to Mama’s Heart hosted by It’s Grace.
Oh, I feel you!! I am not looking forward to the day Sophie will be able to wal across the street for school, much less go to a public place without me! I'mn glad all went well, and I'll file this away for reference when my time come!
Country Gal says
The stretches just get harder and deeper. But it is so satisfying to see fly so well as we let the kite string out a little more and a little more.
Mrs. Stam says
this post was heard to read for this mama, because our little one are still young I do not have to be stretch in the same way you did, but reading this post make me think that someday I too will need to let go, oh letting go!!!!
Homeschool on the Croft says
Oh could I relate?! We have two girls, aged 13 and 15, and a 17yr old son…. so I've been doing lots of 'stretching' over the years, though they are still very much in the nest. Thankfully, we have a 'baby'….well, ok, he's 7, but he's going to be my baby for a while yet!
It's a bit of a balancing act, too, in that I don't want to push my fears/insecurities off onto my daughter. I'm certainly glad that I get to stretch into these moments rather than jump!
So true!! It appears that each step they take towards independence gives them and us the confidence and courage to take the next step.
I know that you'll do a great job when the time comes!! I'm finding that God gives you the grace for each step just as you need it.
Hope you're enjoying those little ones today!
Homeschool on the Croft,
Isn't having a "baby" a comfort?! Sadly, my baby is only two years behind her sister. It's good to know that you've stretched much more than I have so far – and have lived to tell about it! 😉
I'm glad it went well. I know that did your heart good.
And I'm so glad the stretching is slow and gradual. We're letting our oldest attend church camp this summer. Away from home for 5 days and 4 nights. I keep telling myself this is going to be an amazing opportunity for her and feel good about the decision. But still, that's a long time to be away from her.
Ah, church camp – that's one we haven't tackled yet. I'm guessing that the week will pass more quickly for her than it will for you!
Love this! Kids stretch moms in more ways than one, don't they? 🙂
I'm not looking forward to the letting go, nor the "stretching". I wish I could keep them with me forever! You're a very brave mama, and I hope I "stretch" as gracefully as you seem to be!! Children grow up so quickly… I must remember to make the most of this time when I CAN still hang onto them…
How right you are!!
I certainly hope I'm doing it gracefully! These days are going by so quickly; like you, I want to make the most of them!
It's in those times of stretching where I feel myself stretching more toward Jesus — to put my faith and trust in Him as He places His hands over my little ones when I am not there.
As the Mom of a 16, 13 and 6 year old, I am learning that letting the reins out a little at a time is so important…both for parents and the child. They feel as though they are on their own for a bit, but know that if they need to be "reined in" you are there to take the lead again. Before long, they will be capable and willing to run free…you did a great job, from the sound of it.
How true! Thank you for reminding us that it is His grace that will protect them and His peace that will sustain us.
Thank you for your encouraging words! You're so right; doing it a little at a time is best for both of us. Sounds like you've been practicing this for quite awhile now. 🙂
Hope you have a great afternoon!
Amy Sullivan says
So glad to find you through Erin's link-up! I love your place here, and the idea of working to grow your sweet girls. I have two girls as well.
I've been trying to stretch a little in dealing with this very same thing! Oh, it's so hard not to want them held tightly to us.
So nice meeting you, Tracey!
Thank you for your kind words and for taking the time to visit my blog. I'm always thrilled to find another mother who's raising two girls! I'll be by to visit you as well.
It's Grace says
I can certainly relate!! There is something to be said about the security of being with our kids, right? Yes, many others are capable, but knowing they are warm enough, got their change, have eaten, are safe, etc….is something I like to experience first hand :).
I really need to stretch in this area, too. By the way, great pictures of your daughter.
Thank you so much for linking up today, this really touched my heart. I have a hard time just letting my kids…"go".
This is good and bit by bit this is the journey, isn't it? Well, you're further along than I so I love hearing about this letting go…
I was thinking about this praying with my son…how my mom used to say 'don't be afraid to let your kids go through hard things.' what?? she wrestled for those to be her words as we flew the coop and had hard things happen even while under her roof…I am learning to ask for those eyes to see and trust even when I'm right there too…and all that is just hard in this world that will affect them…so, rambling, but visiting from Erin's, nice to 'meet' you…blessings:):):)
Well said; we need to be aware of what's going on with our children even while we're with them.
Thanks for stopping by! Hope you have a nice day!