Today I let go of you for the first time. In my mind I didn’t want to, and in my heart I know I never really will. Today, though, my hands slowly released you into the world for you to take your first little steps.
I realize you won’t understand this Titanic movie reference (sigh), but as I let go, I kind of felt like Rose when she told Jack “I will never let go, Jack. I’ll never let go…” and then let go of his hand. There’s a lot that’s different here (no ocean, romance, Leonardo DiCaprio… again, sigh) but the meaning is still the same. She let go, but really, she didn’t. She loved him, and continued to do so from that point on, even though she couldn’t be with him.
At some point, I know I have to let go, even though my heart never will. You have to get independent and learn how to do things on your own. But I’d hold on to you forever if I could.
It’s back-to-school time right now, and many of my friends say they cry on their kids’ first days every year. So, I know this letting go and growing up thing is something a lot of moms struggle with. Every time we let go a little more, that means you need us a little less.
That’s part of the job description of a parent, though. We selfishly want that close bond of your dependency, but know it’s more important to see you grow, excel and succeed as an independent person.
So, as you grow up and get older, just know that I’ll always want to be holding your hand, even if you don’t need it. My arms will always be out-stretched, spotting you each step of the way, even if you can’t see them, even when you’re an adult, even as I’m old and gray. I’ll want to hold your hand.
Any time you need them, or want them, just reach out and my arms will be there.
Before, you needed to hold my hand to hold yourself up, then you needed me just to steady yourself, and now you can walk all on your own. While it still takes my breath away to see you walk on your own because it’s still so new, I know it’ll get easier. Soon, you’ll be walking (er, running) every where and it’ll be just an every day thing. The sting of you not needing me to take you here or there will fade, I’m sure.
And then, years from now, I’ll see you walk on graduation, and then down an aisle toward someone who will take your hand in marriage. All of this without needing to hold my hand. But it’s always there if you want it (and I’ll be secretly hoping you will).