Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Umbilical Cords tied tight

It is not like me to leave in the middle of a meeting but it was the best I could do. (It was for parents of new HPU students) Yes, I still have a lot to learn. As a mother, I have gone through many stages of letting go of each of my kids, now all young adults, which we have been calling them that since they were 13 or so, perhaps I ought to say I am a parent of adult children. Back to the meeting: there were at least a half dozen questions about food and the meal plan. We have trained our children to communicate for themselves and now the morning after I realize that many parents have not; these questioners felt they needed to ask these questions for their children instead of letting their kids find out for themselves. Yesterday, I didn’t have much patience or compassion, I wanted to ask, “Does anyone have a pair of scissors, so I can cut these umbilical cords?” Biting my tongue was not enough; I needed to just walk away.

As a mother who has educated her children at home, you might think that the launching would be more difficult. Admittedly, this is the most difficult transition in the parenting process for me. There is wisdom in learning from our own emerging adulthood and from those who have already shot their “arrows” out of the quiver. Our children need to learn to navigate through this life. There are two choices: we can send them off with our blessings or we can cling so tightly that they will need to break free. With the latter choice, parents wound their off spring and the relationship often never fully heals. They may never return, if they do return it will not be in a way that brings them back into sweet fellowship with us.

Our children are still dependent on us in a few ways and in many ways they are not. This is a time of finding out who they are. It is the natural course of life. If we want to be there for them, we must lovingly let them go with grace as passionately as we did when we held them so carefully as newborn babies, in awe of the responsibility, filled with joy of this new little life. There is more new life to come with each phase of development. Childhood is the SHORTEST season of life and most kids want to leave it behind and embrace their adulthood. Don’t be the parent who holds them back.

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