There is no doubt about it, kids will change your life. And from the moment they enter this world until the day they move out on their own, you and your kids are engaged in a dance of hold them close, and let them go. It is maddening.
All of us parents know the drill. A child is born and needs. Everything. They need to be fed, cleaned up, kept comfortable. They can’t tell us when they are hungry, tired, hurt, happy, nothing. All they can do is coo, and cry. More of the latter than the former. They have to be carried for the first up to 18 months of their lives. And then they hit the ground running.
Talking and walking/running seems to come hand in hand with kids. And this is when things really start to get weird. Once our kids are ambulatory, they are pulling away from us. Testing their boundaries. And we, as the dutiful parents, let them have their freedom. Up to a point. We allow them to get a few bumps and bruises, and try to keep them safe from the rest. I said try, because our kids are still pulling away as we are trying to keep them close.
That is the weird dance I have been talking about. Pulling away, and pulling back. Running as fast as they can, falling, and wanting us to comfort them, then off they go once again. Until they fall, or get scraped, or some such and need us again. Throwing themselves into our arms, and then wriggling free. But admit it, don’t you just love it when they are wanting to get hugged? The smell of your childs hair is intoxicating.
Kids don’t stay kids forever. They have this nasty tendency to grow up. And growing up means that the boundaries are being re-established almost daily. At least that is the way it is for our last child. The Princess is 14 going on 25. Wanting to be involved with everything and anything that doesn’t involve sitting at home with Mom, and Dad. I am her mobile ATM. We are a blended family. I have 3 children that I brought with me into my marriage, and MLW had just had The Princess the year prior to us meeting. My kids are much older than The Princess. I have gone through the teenage pulling away process with all of them. I am not looking forward to it from the last one. Because as our kids hit their mid-teenage years they pull away sharply. They no longer need us to traipse them around. They can drive themselves. They have friends who can drive them around. Parents are in the way. Only needed when the funds are running low. The house is a lot quieter now.
But this article is about letting go of your kids. If we did our job as Parents correctly, we know that at some point we have to let go. They should be confident enough to go out into the word and make their mark upon it. Because that is what we were supposed to do. We were supposed to raise our kids to be confident in their abilities, and to always know that we will always be there for them. That doesn’t make it any easier. A quick hug, and a kiss will never replace the times when they would burrow into your chest. The times when crawling up on your lap would make everything better. I miss those times with my kids, though with the size of a couple of them it would be very uncomfortable for them to try to do it now.
So. Hug them hard every chance you get. When they are young help them up everytime they fall, but don’t ever let them quit trying. And when the time comes, let them go. Because that is what we are supposed to do.
And that part sucks.