Let Go. What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why? (Author: Alice Bradley)
This year my oldest child left home for college. Whether I’ve wanted to or not, this has been my exercise in letting go. I’m not so sure that everyone is convinced that I’ve actually accomplished much in this task. She is at the College of Charleston, just a few miles down the road, and I still see her regularly. Part of that is because we’re close. Part of it is because I have custody of her “baby,” Rookie. So if letting go means physically not seeing her, I guess I have failed. But I don’t think that’s what letting go is about. While physically she is still very much a part of my life, my responsibilities as a mother to her have changed. She is now making a lot of the big decisions on her own – what classes to take, whether or not to go to class, how to manage her money, what to do with her free time, who to hang out with, what time to get back to the dorm, etc. She isn’t under my roof anymore, so I’m no longer the one to monitor or curtail these things. That’s not my job anymore. I’ve had to let her go and trust that she has been given the tools she needs to make the right decisions. My job now is to be the listener and the encourager. I feel blessed that she shares so much of herself freely and honestly with me. And I also feel blessed that letting go of this previous stage of parenting does not mean (for us) letting go of the relationship that she and I have always had. And by the way, so far I am VERY proud of the young woman she has become!