I suppose it’s a bit like unrequited love really; the love a mother feels for her children, and for that matter the love anyone who has ever cared and loved a child into adulthood.
You know them so well. You have nurtured them, wiped their tears away, fed them, played with them and taught this little person into a man. You know them inside and out, you know them almost completely. You know how they will react in certain situations, you know their likes and dislikes. You know sometimes how they think and when they’re bothered by stuff. You’ve seen them struggle with hardship and seen them excitedly happy…because you were there.
You’ve listened to their dreams and wonderful ideas. You’ve listened as they’ve whispered their deep secrets to you as you cuddle up at night. You’ve watched as they have developed a straight line into intricate and magical creatures.
So almost unexpectedly they are men. Oblivious to this connection you have had with them, with ease they cut the strings to fly and explore without you, they are adventurous on their own, and this is as it should be.
But now their connection to you is different to your connection with them, they know little of what you know of them. They have grown out of that special intimacy that you once had with them as a child.
So what to do? what to do with the longing of connection? The longing of the intimate conversations of the past. The dawning of a new day with adventures that don’t have space for you in them.
Letting go, my idea and comfort is this:
If you have raised children that are keen for adventure and able to be independent, you have raised well.
If you have raised a person who has their own ideas and values, you have raised well.
If you have raised a person who as an adult is not afraid to hug and say ‘I love you’, then you have raised well.
We now stand in the wings, ready with open arms. We must allow our children to now discover for themselves. We have let go we have not pushed away. Never forget they still need time to grow and discover, it can often be a painful and hurtful time, they are still growing. Our job is to continue to love and show love.