Monday, April 26, 2010

Rites of passage...

First t-ball games...Dance practices...Dance performances...Second birthday parties...Rites of passage, all. But when they happen in one weekend, whoa! This mommy was feeling emotionally overwhelmed this weekend.

I watched my little man get his first ever t-ball uniform. He is number 5 ("Just like me, mommy!"). When he put on that shirt and baseball cap, his face lit up and the tears stung the back of my eyes. He is so grown up, yet still so small. It is hard to know just now how much to protect and how much to let go. There are still glimpses of my baby boy now and then when he climbs up in my lap or when I watch him sleeping, but those are getting fewer and fewer. His latest mantra is "I can do it, Mommy. I'm getting bigger." I know I have to pull back and let him try, and perhaps even let him fail. Who knew that mothering would be a slow process of letting go, of training and instructing and then stepping back to watch the seeds take root. One of the boys on the team didn't hit as well as the others. I watched my little guy walk up and give him a high five and congratulate him. Another rung on the ladder climbed. He's getting so big, Lord. I'm so thankful that you walk with him on his journey.

My oldest daughter was gone all day on Saturday with dance practices and performances. I really missed her by the end of the day. I missed hearing her laugh and her easy smile. She was gone from "the nest" for the better part of a day. She was fine. She did her part well as I knew she would. It wasn't the performance that concerned me, it was the "letting go." I found myself wondering what it would feel like when she would be old enough to drive herself to these events, not even needing me for transportation...Thank you, Lord that you are easing me into this stepping back portion of mothering. She's only 9, so this was just a baby step. But it is sometimes so difficult.

My "baby" turns two this week. I know our quiver is full and there will be no more babies. This is another kind of letting go altogether.

For a while, I was gloomily reflecting on these rites of passage, then God again changed my perspective. He gently took my hand and allowed me to see that these were just small steps of "beginning." God whispered to my heart, "you've tended the garden well. Stand back and enjoy the beauty for a while. It's just another beginning." I will still cry at these beginnings, but my perspective has changed. It's not about them needing me less, it's that they are becoming more fully who God created them to be. Isn't that the wonderful privilege of mothering? We get to hold their little hands, kiss their little faces and watch and pray as they become just who God wanted them to be.


CB said...

Made me cry, especially these wonderful words of wisdom: "It's not about them needing me less, it's that they are becoming more fully who God created them to be." So true.

Trying to remember that as my baby turns 6 months tomorrow.

Kristi Slattery said...

Hugs, CB!

nymountainmom said...

Kristi, it is so true! You have described it exactly and brought me to tears as well. As my children keep growing it is getting harder to let them go and to let them be all God wants them to be. I have to remind myself that they are on loan to us, that God has blessed us with these to train for HIS kingdom. I have truly enjoyed reading your blog and look forward to reading more :)