I didn’t realize that letting go would hurt this much. Sure I knew that time would fly and that in the blink of an eye my sweet babies would be all grown up and moving on in this world. I knew that. I held on tight. I made a point to snuggle as much as I could, to read stories, and have family nights. I made a point to enjoy every minute. I did all that and it still went by far too fast. I still want just one more day.
I’ll always want one more.
Many years ago on a family vacation to the beach, we passed a cute little street of shops that I really wanted to check out, but after a long day of sandcastles and waves my family was just too tired to join me, all except Zach. He and I headed out and shopped that day. We checked out the souvenir shops, we looked at t-shirts and stuffed animals, seashells, and salt water taffy, then we decided an ice cream break was in order. We sat at a cute little outdoor table and enjoyed a sundae that was far too big for the little guy that he was and we talked. We talked and talked and talked. Zach and I are both gifted in that art. Now I don’t remember anything we talked about, but I do very clearly remember this- after all the days at the beach, the aquariums we visited, and the adventures we had- I asked the kids what they liked best. “The ice cream” Zach replied.
Hours from home, new experiences, and long fun days and it all came down to ice cream. I learned something that day that I will never forget. It isn’t the big things in life that really matter. Instead, it’s the tiniest of moments that come together to make life sweet. It’s laughing around the kitchen table, watching family movies, coloring outside the lines and giggling at inside jokes no one else would understand.
That little boy boarded a plane today. He is flying across the country to join our amazing military. He towers over me now, and I am more proud than I ever imagined possible. The problem is I struggle not to see the little boy with ice cream all over his face.
I struggle letting go.
Gretchen Rubin says that “The days are long but the years are short.” Oh how right she is. My oldest son and his wife gave birth to their first little boy just a few short months ago. It’s funny how life comes full circle. I watched as one boarded a plane and the other held tight to a brand new life. What a reminder of the blessings each season has to offer.
I realized something else today too. I realized that this new season that is so uncomfortable in the process- will hold the same tremendous hope that the last one did. I know that in time I’ll want this new season to last forever too. There is so much good mixed in with the tears.
I still have one more son at home with me and he is terrified. He too has realized something in all this. He knows that he is the last of my babies and that his mom needs something to hold onto. She needs someone to “mother”. He’s terrified that he will get ALL the mothering that I have to offer and to be honest he’s probably right. So please pray for him he’s going to need it.
If you are struggling with letting go today. I want you to know that you are not alone. We will get through this and we will look back and rejoice at all this new season has to offer, but in the process- if a few tears are necessary, that’s okay too.
Done it too but reading your post and seeing the picture brought it all back and I bawled like a baby. Sometimes you just have to let it out. 💙🇺🇸
Been there too but reading your post and seeing the picture brought it all back and I bawled like a baby. Sometimes you just have to let it out. 💙🇺🇸
Pamela Harper said:
You have done so much right as a mother. This will revisit you time and again through words and actions of those now grown little boys. It will then warm you from the inside out and you will totally enjoy your new roles in life as friend, confidant, supporter, fan, grandmother and everlasting mother. I am praying for you…..
Marian MacNett said:
Thank you Nikki, I think as mother’s, we all struggle with “letting go” of our children when it is time to leave. My late husband and I teased each other that as the bags were packed and sitting at the door and my child was ready to leave, I would be holding on to the suitcase and pulling back, as Dave would be helping one of them carry their bags out the door to the car. YES, we as mother’s all go thru the same “withdrawal” of feeling like we will never see or pass this way again and YES, time sure does FLY by w/o us noticing until IT DOES. I can not imagine you not being the perfect parents guiding each son in their new lives w/o love in their hearts and knowing you and Ryan are supporting them each and every day. Thanks for sharing this story. YES, it brings back memories but you as parents, have helped to mode them into responsible young adults. Congratulations!!! And, yes, they will come home to visit…. Love and hugs, Marian MacNett