Letting Go While Hanging On

There are many times in our lives when what feels right is actually the wrong thing to do in a particular situation.  Times when you let go when you should hold on, or hold on when you really ought to let go.  Yesterday was that kind of day for me.

I am preparing to take a trip with my husband and kids.  The amount of things a trip like this requires is maddening.  Just to ensure the house/dog/cat/fish sitter is prepared for any emergency is horrid.  Add to that preparing five people to travel overseas and you might as well start hankering for a padded cell.

I was standing in the produce isle, dithering between bananas and grapes for this week’s lunches when my heart started racing.  There I was, banana bunch in hand, having a full-on panic attack.  After I got my breathing back under control, I figured it was time to let go of some angst this trip is causing me.  Because heaven knows that a stressed out mom is a cranky mom.  And no one wants to travel with my particular version of Cranky Mom.

A few hours after that episode, I took my Oldest to his application interview for the arts magnet middle school.  There was my first baby, heading out to a “student only” 3 hour interview process for which I could offer no assistance.  On one hand, I am so excited for him to be heading into this next chapter of his life.  And on the other, all I want to do is grab him tight and hold on.

It is so hard to find that balance in our relationships between letting go and hanging on.  Giving enough space so that others can find themselves and yet keeping enough contact so that the connection isn’t broken.

It would be so much easier if it were more like fly fishing.  You bait your hook, cast your line, wait, and then carefully assess the nibbles and jerks on your line.  If you guess correctly, you’ve caught yourself a fish.  Guess incorrectly and all you must do is try again.

But as Yoda  told us, “Do or do not, there is no try.”

So I’m not going to try to let go of my fears and apprehensions nor am I going to try to hold on to my dear child.  Instead, I am going to work through those fears and ask that dear sweet boy on the cusp of teenhood if he will at least hold my hand when I stumble during our journey together.

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9 thoughts on “Letting Go While Hanging On

  1. Oh Kristina,
    This one brings tears to my eyes… My little boy is now nine and a half and I want to put it all on pause. I tell him every day to quit growing and he argues with a giggly voice that Jesus can’t stop his growing. That he just can’t stop. I hold his hand and he still rarely pulls away. But, I know that is coming sooner than later and while it’s inevitable, I will grieve his ‘little boyness’ and be right there to watch him grow into the young man he is meant to become. I’d rather do the fly-fishing analogy you suggested, but that is not how it is meant to be. I’ll helicoper mom just a wee bit longer, but soon I will need to let him go and make his way in the world… just as you will… Thank you for writing this today…

    See ya soon… and happy vacationing…

    ~ Dana

  2. While I was hugging one of my twin daughters goodbye as she climbed into her jeep to drive off to her dorm, my heart flipped completely over. It goes so fast! I told her she was still that little two year old asking for more juice…not freedom to move on from home. Cling tightly yet loose enough for him to feel free enough to come back home!

  3. You made me cry. We want our children to grow into well rounded adults but it would be nice to sometimes have a pause button for life. Sending hugs your way ❤

  4. *Hugs.* It’s tough watching them grow up and grow away, isn’t it?

    When my kiddos were little (and even now, to a certain extent) I tried to think of myself as a safety net. There for emergencies, but easy enough for them to ignore if they were doing fine on their own. (This was probably much easier for them than for me. *wry grin*)

  5. Have you ever had Yoda sneak up on you with that line on Twitter whenever you write “try” in an update? Funny!

    I’m so much of a hanger-on-er. My oldest started high school this year, and it’s been…something. Best to you on all of your journeys!

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