Letting Go: A Bittersweet Blessing

Monday August 16, 2010

I’m writing this on Sunday evening and it’s been an emotionally draining day. After all, it’s not every day you send a son off to college.

He leaves tomorrow, and I feel like Andy’s mom in Toy Story 3. Remember that scene when she goes in his room and has a flashback of his boyhood and growing up years? Yep, that’s pretty much been me all day.

Tomorrow is the first day of school for me, so there’s anticipation all over the place – and so much to do!

It’s so bittersweet, this growing up thing. He’s doing what we’ve raised them to do, and I’m so proud of him! But I miss his little hand in mine, chubby arms around my neck, and that unmistakable sweet baby scent.

I know it’s the way of things. It’s a natural part of life, and I’d feel I had missed so much if he never got to this point. But my heart aches, all the same.

So what do I do? I open my tightly clenched fists and let go. I look up the path, and there’s another mom who’s been there, with her hand outstretched. I drop my pride and accept her support.

But I don’t stop looking – I glance behind me and see a mom who needs encouragement. What good is my experience if I don’t share it? And personally, I look up, for I know that’s where my real help comes from.

The ache subsides. It will hit me again at times, but I’m encouraged.
I know I’m not alone.


Unknown said...

Will be praying for you and in 5 years when it's my time, I will be looking to you for encouragement. ; )

Praying peace and joy in your journey!

Joanne said...

I feel your pain...My girls have left a number of time for mission trips, and then my son left for a job Out West...but they all do come home again even if just for a visit.
God will get you through these difficult first weeks, but yes, those emotions are so real and so natural for us....we raised them with heart and soul:)
Grace for your week!

Faith said...

Thanks for sharing your heart!
(i saw your book in the catalog that comes to my mailbox (cbd)!!!! Yay for you!!!
I am gonna recommend your book to a young woman who is joining my small group (pray for me...I begin leading a moms small group in Sept and we are doing the book "Got Teens?") anyways..my friend has 2 boys plus her hubby and feels outnumbered sometimes! :)
God's blessings to you as you begin school today and for your son as he is off to college. I'll be feeling like you in one year from now!! Time goes by so fast!!!!! and amen...our Help comes from above!!

Anonymous said...

It is indeed bittersweet, even knowing it is the way of things and in God's good will. He will help, we will get used to it -- but we'll still have those moments.

Haven't seen TS3 yet -- I so want to!!

Diane said...

I am nervous when that day finally arrives here. I'm sure I will have similar struggles. :O)

Andrew Groves said...

Mom, you should share your poem, "Flutter Away."

Victoria said...

I'm dreading that day myself. I will be praying for you.

Leann Guzman said...

Whew! This post brought tears to my eyes! I've been struggling with enjoying the moment with my 16 month old son who's in to EVERYTHING and still very dependent on me for so much. He's my third child and sometimes I just want this stage behind me. But this is a reminder that I'll be in your shoes one day and I should cherish each moment that I have to get him to stop taking stuff out of the trash or have to go running because I hear him playing in the toilet after one of the other kids left the door to the bathroom open. LOL!

Laura@OutnumberedMom said...

That's one of my boys up there, who said, "Mom, you should share your poem."

If you click on "That's the way of things" (a link in my post), you can read it.


Karen said...

Laura, you are such a living inspiration! Blessings dear friend.

Clella said...

You my dear are a true mother and a wonderful example, but more than that you are a talented author and I am proud to know you. I share karen's thoughts. Love to you Clella

Deb said...

Laura, you're a mama.

Letting go is supposed to be hard--will always hurt us.

I'm so glad that our loving God knows how we feel...He let go of His child, too.

Said a prayer for you tonight.

Sweet dreams.

Kat said...

I'm bawling. Just like I did at that part in Toy Story 3. I know how fast it goes. And I want to do every thing I possibly can to enjoy every moment of this, and yet it is still slipping through my fingers.

My prayers go out to you and your son and the rest of your family during this exciting, emotional, joyful, melancoly time.

And also??? You do NOT look old enough to have a son going to college. How do you do that? :)

Roxane B. Salonen said...

Laura, I enjoyed seeing you today in my comments box, and no, reading your beautiful, bittersweet post. My baby is going to kindergarten in nine days, and although that may seem a thing to envy, each of these transitions is bittersweet. I have a feeling it's going to hit me a little harder than I have been thinking. With four others before him, the goal has been to scoot him off into the world too. And yet, I have adored my last two years with just him. He's so excited for school, but a knot is forming in my stomach, because these precious years do go by quickly. There's just no way around it.

By the way, congrats on your forthcoming book! How exciting. Sounds like one I'd enjoy. A debut book is a wonderful thing -- few things compare. Enjoy every moment of the launch!

Michelle DeRusha said...

Ohhhhh! I am thinking of you today (Tuesday) -- it's the big day, yes? I hope all went well. Letting go is tough...but you and your husband have done such an incredible job with your boys. I am really in awe of you!

BTW, that is SO cute that your son left a comment on your blog. I can only hope mine will do the same someday!

J Rodney said...

I discovered your book on Goodreads, followed you to your book, and now I'm here. I figure that it is in my best interest (as a mother of three boys) to follow you, and hopefully I'll learn something.

I'm sending two sons off to school on Monday, one for the first time and the other is a repeater...still it is with mixed emotions that I am sending them off.

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