I’m Scared

I can admit it.  Terrified might be the more appropriate word.  Oh, I try to pretend that I’m okay with it, but I’m really not.  Sometimes, I just completely block reality out and pretend it’s not really happening.  For awhile, that works.  I focus on the here and now and I do just fine. 

But have you ever tired to ignore a dripping faucet? You know how it goes, you sing a song in your head or turn your mind to something else, but without fail that faucet gets in the way.  The drip, drip, drip becomes louder and more insistent until it sounds like a bass drum pounding in your ear. 

Ugh. I hate that.

What is it that I’m trying to ignore?  My kids. . . growing up.  Oh, I know we all deal with this to a point, but I’m beginning to wonder if what I’m feeling is far beyond what is normal acceptable for a grown woman.

This weekend we returned home from being gone for awhile and about 10 kids were playing across the street.  My kids were playing in our yard and I was sitting on the front porch.  I watched as Charlie eyed the kids across the street, many of them older than him.  They were riding bikes and scooters and playing different games in the driveway.  My heart broke for him as he watched.  He knew some of them and had played with them before, but not all of them.

Now, a good Mom might encourage her son to go ahead over and play, but not me.  I just watched until Charlie asked for my permission to go play with the kids across the street.  The split second dialogue in my head when something like this:

What if they don’t accept him?  What if he gets hurt?  What if they don’t talk to him or if they are mean to him?  What if they ignore him? What if my sweet little guy loses some of his innocence?  What about his tender heart?!

Can we say neurotic?  Hesitantly, I said yes and he turned to leave.  Quickly, though, he turned back my way and grabbed his security blanket. . . Chanelle, want to come with me?  Enter more neurotic dialogue. . .

What?  She’s only three!  She doesn’t even ride a bike or a scooter!  Not very well, anyway.  She’ll be the youngest one there!  What if they ignore her? What if her feelings get hurt?!

(Note:  this house is directly across the street from ours.)

My rational side spoke up first and both of my little ones took the tentative ride around the sidewalk to enter the neighborhood social circle. 

What did I do?  I promptly opened the front door, called to Chad, and asked him if he would sit with me as I watched this scene.  Already, the tears were streaming down my face.

Dangit!  There I sat pathetically on my front porch and tried to rationally explain my tears to Chad as we watched our kids confidently walk into (and accepted by) the group of kids across the street.  I swiped at my tears as Chad sat and listened to the disturbed rationalizations.

Truth be told. . . I hate letting go.  I want to protect them from any hurts they might endure.  I want to keep them pure and innocent.  This growing up thing is hard on this Mommy.  I love their innocence.  I love their purity.  I love the people they are. 

Just the other night I walked into the bedroom to find that Charlie had left gifts by our bedside.  One for Chad. . .

And one for me. . .

I didn’t ask why I got the one with the blackened tooth. . . I don’t really want to know.

On another night we checked on Charlie before we went to bed and found that he was no where to be found.  After glancing around his room we found him. . .

Sleeping peacefully under his bookcase. . .

On top of about 30 stuffed animals.  The next morning he told me, “it was comfortable”.

Oh, I loves these kids. 

This is life, though, isn’t it?  Giving them wings and letting them fly? 

I know that Saturday mornings like this past Saturday are passing quickly.  The day will come when playing dress up dolls with Mommy is nothing short of juvenile. And Mr. Potato Heads on our nightstand will soon be a thing of the past.  I know that I can do nothing to stop it.

In the meantime. . . we do all we can do to create memories that will last.  To be together and to give them a sense of safety and security while they are in our care.  We laugh.  We get annoyed with each other.  We are silly.  We cry. We teach them.  They teach us. We do life together. . . and it is good.

Our first ever family run happened on Saturday.

(On a side note:  the kids learned that Mommies have accidents, too.  A pregnant woman with a growing uterus pushing against her bladder should not drink a liter of water prior to running five miles with no bathroom in sight. . . just sayin’)

Like I said. . . we teach each other.

And what is the point I’m trying to make with all these ramblings?  I guess I’m trying to say that I’m scared to let them go.  I don’t want to do it.  I really, really don’t.  Saturday it was a lone walk across the street and then it will be Kindergarten, high school, college, and beyond. . . and all things in between.  The irrational side of me wants to hold them close and never let them go.

The other side of me, though.  The side that really, really loves them wants to let them go.  Wants to watch them venture out into the neighborhood and the world to discover what they are really made of.  Like my Dad said to me recently. . . growing up doesn’t mean a lack of emotion, it just means I do it despite my emotion. 

Believe me, I’m scared, but I’m going to do it anyway.

“. . . being a parent is learning when NOT to be one. And as parents, we must come to the realization that we can’t grow the tree without first letting go of the seed. So let it go, and watch it grow.”
Joe Martin

  • SnappyTulip - June 28, 2011 - 11:40 am

    Very nice.ReplyCancel

  • Trophy Life - June 28, 2011 - 1:00 pm

    the easy part is holding on and the really hard part is letting go. if you can just do it one little, baby step at a time, you and they will be okay. and….you have one more one the way to enjoy these Mr. Potato Head moments with!! love you.ReplyCancel

  • lisa - June 28, 2011 - 1:19 pm

    awww…I can't tell you how much I understand each and every word written here. My guys are 11, 11, and 8 and it has been a journey for me trying to learn to grow with them- letting go just a lil' at a time. It's definitely a process…but as they grow trust your instincts to. And don't be afraid to keep them a lil' close and keep them innocent for as long as YOU want them to- that's been one of the hardest things with school and seeing what many other parents do (and don't do!) It becomes a whole different ball game! It's surprising how many parents lose sight of keeping kids young, protecting them from growing up too fast.
    Love your photos! πŸ™‚ReplyCancel

  • Sassy - June 28, 2011 - 2:21 pm

    Oh Summer…this has brought tears to my eyes. I think you have voiced the inner battle of most moms everywhere! It is so hard. So I take pictures. Lots and lots of pictures. To preserve a small portion of the memories. It helps relieve the heartache somewhat for me. πŸ™‚ReplyCancel

  • Sassytimes - June 28, 2011 - 5:09 pm

    I think it's normal to be scared. And to worry. Letting go is the hard part.

    But…is it normal to wish my youngest would grow up just a little? We're in the tantrum stage and I'm having a rough few days. I can't wait for this to pass… πŸ˜‰ReplyCancel

  • Adopted aunt - June 29, 2011 - 2:28 am

    O sweetie I know. Been there, done it, still doing it. I mean we have and are doing the college thing, we sent the oldest to Aulstralia last year for school, sent him this am to Mongolia with at least one sane mom along:). Now we will be sending him to DC in Aug. He is 22 which I remind myself I was married then. The other one has been to Europe and just Germany. Yes time goes. We get braver we get better at not letting them see our heartbreak but that doesn't always work. They will get hurt just as we did but hopefully they will learn and grow from those and we will have the words to say. We just have to pray.ReplyCancel

  • Hummel Kiddos - June 29, 2011 - 1:41 pm

    I think you are NORMAL for feeling the way you do! I am in the same boat as you! This week I sent our first born off to camp…talk about letting go of the rope a little more….yikes! I was very impressed with my girl though, she never once asked if she could go back home, MY lil SHY GIRL was excited to go to camp!! WHAT?!?! I was just waiting for her to say "I do not want to stay" If she would have, trust me, I would have turned the car right back around to go straight back home! πŸ™‚ Its tough not knowing how she's doing BUT I am sure she is having a blast.

    So know that you and I are NORMAL! Atleast I think we are anyway. If we are not normal, atleast we can weep together! πŸ™‚ReplyCancel

  • Ky β€’ twopretzels.com - June 29, 2011 - 4:01 pm

    I have an overwhelming urge to lose myself right now. But I can't.
    Because I'm sitting in my office with the door open and I can't lose it.

    Oh friend.

    Oh friend.

    I cannot TELL you how NOT neurotic you are. I feel the SAME way. The SAME way. We just went and checked out a preschool for Lila and I can't even begin to express the wave of emotion that I felt and am feeling about the whole thing.

    It's less about Me, or YOU — it's about wanting them to be accepted. For their hearts ALWAYs to be protected. For their actions to always be authentic without any fear of judgement…

    Oh… I pray for this regularly.

    I love you.

    We shall cry together.

    Yesterday I was walking down the stairs to my car and I was carrying Vivienne and holding Lila's hand and carrying the diaper bag. My ankle gave out and I almost fell hard — but instead I just stumbled. I didn't fall and I didn't hurt Vivienne and Lila remained standing.

    I pray EVERY night that God protects my babies – physically and emotionally. And, yesterday he protected them yet again with the "near fall." He'll do the same for our babies emotionally, too.

    At least in my heart I believe that.ReplyCancel

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