On Parenting…and Letting Go

I try desperately in my day to day life to look for things to be thankful for ~  to look for the positives in situations.  When given the choice to laugh or cry, I almost always choose laughter.

But, there are a few things that are difficult for me to process.

Like my Mom’s dementia.  And missing so many family members who already live in Heaven.

Those realities make my heart ache.  And, yes, sometimes I have to set the laughter aside and cry.

There’s also something else I realized was a painful part of life for me to deal with.

It occurred to me 2 years ago on the day this baby boy:

baby brad

graduated from High School.

brad and grass lightened

Our oldest  ~  Brad.

I don’t write about parenting much on this blog.   It’s an area of life near and dear to my heart…and also one that I really don’t feel I should give advice on.

But, I hope I try to give it my best.

I love my 3 boys with all my heart.

I thought I did pretty good as I waved to them on the school bus to start Kindergarten.

I wasn’t one of those Moms who went home and cried their eyes out as their “babies” went off to school.

It seemed like a good thing to me.  I wanted them to grow and learn and experience life beyond just me.

Little did I know that the difficult part awaited me years down the road…on graduation day.

Now a few more years have melted away and our second oldest is graduating from High School.

standing

Joel.

Once again, my heart aches and wrenches as the thought of “letting go” twists into reality.

The “letting go” means letting go of a precious era.  The era of a family of 5.  In the same house.  Every day.

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The “letting go” means trusting that what we’ve taught will help aide in the harsh realities of life in the real world.

with trees

The “letting go” means saying good-bye.

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That’s the hardest part for me.

It’s what keeps me up at night and makes my stomach ache.

But, once I dry my tears and think on, I’m reminded that “letting go” should be a celebration as well…

laughing

A celebration of memories.

A celebration of new beginnings.

on bridge 2

A celebration of striking out and meeting new people and learning new things.

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That’s what we’re headed into this week.

A graduation celebration.

I’m drying my tears.

It’s time to celebrate!!

Congratulations, Joel.

We have been blessed beyond words by having you in our lives.  And, although for a few short hours you were named Brett Alan, I’m so glad you quickly became our Joel Mark.

I can’t imagine it any other way…

{And, yes, my boys are very talented in the “growing facial hair” department.  Just hours after this little photo shoot, Joel shaved his beard off.  Does that mean we need to do it all over again??}

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2 Comments

  1. I think it’s the rational that keeps us focused on their fulfilling their hopes and dreams for the future. It’s the emotional that makes our heart ache as we think about them leaving us to brave the world and all it’s realities.
    My hubby has been steadily scanning and storing family slides over the last couple months. As we look back to when our kids were little, we are amazed how quickly the last 30 yrs. have gone. The last one just married 2 yrs. ago. He’s a 2 hr. flight away and he was so difficult to let go of. We comfort ourselves by saying we know he is where God wants him to be. But you’re right, it’s painful to say goodbye. It’s bittersweet. You’re excited for them to move forward in life but sad that they have to leave you to do it.
    Enjoy the graduation celebrations! Enjoy the time together that you have left!

  2. What a precious blog! Thanks for sharing your journey, the joys, sorrows and trusting God with the big realities of life. It has been great to see Joel grow up into such a Godly young man, with a servant heart and great big smile!! It’s hard to believe the days of discussing the newest curtains you sewed for the boys’ rooms, or movie times for the kids while we shared a coffee. The photo shoot you did was fantastic!! We’re looking forward to Grad day, you can have “no beard” pics too : )

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