The following is a guest post from momAgendaCOMM blogger Beth Anne Ballance.
I learned my first lesson in “letting go” when my son was 3 months old. I unstrapped him from his car seat and handed him to my little sister who became his nanny for two years while I wore heels to the office.
I learned to let go when he stood for the first time and I knew that life would never be the same.
My heart lurched with his first shaky steps and in that instant, I saw him running in the other direction for the next 18 years of his life. My heart begrudgingly released a little bit more of him, knowing that I couldn’t physically hold him close to me at all times anymore. He would want to be down and explore.
I did, however, fight back this new independence with my baby carrier and car seat and stroller and anything that would strap him to me just a little bit longer.
I learned to let go the first time he asked to slide on his own and the first time he sat cross-legged on the floor with his snack, watching his favorite cartoon and I realized that he wasn’t an extension of me anymore, he was his own little person.
When he began to speak and tell me his own ideas, I felt him slip a little further away from being mine, all mine.
And then this past April when I stood at the door of his new school (it was the second week when he had made little friends), he gave me a quick hug and I had to ask for a kiss. And then he ran off with me standing behind him, watching his blonde hair fly.
He was confident and brave and joyful.
I had done my job as his momma well but oh man, how my heart ached at the hand-releasing that didn’t match how I felt on the inside, clutching him closer than ever.
Because truly, a mother begins to let go the moment the child is born; the moment she must share him with the rest of the world and it’s the most wonderful, terrifying, heart-breaking and heart-soaring lesson of life.
Beth Anne Ballance is a born and bred Southern Belle. She blogs at The Heir to Blair using words and pictures to celebrate the challenges of motherhood and the joy of life. Connect with Beth Anne on Twitter and Facebook.