Monday, April 4, 2011

The art of letting go

I shattered the windshield of my sister's Datsun 710 with my head when I was in eighth grade.

Some lady in a tank -- er, Station Wagon -- pulled out in front of us as my sister drove me to choir practice. With the exception of some nasty scrapes on my knees and a big, gosh-darn goose-egg on the top of my noggin, I wasn't hurt.

At least, not physically.

Emotionally, it was a little different. My sister and I spent the first few weeks of summer break that year trying not to tense up as we entered major intersections.

She eventually got over it.

Me? Not so much.

As with many other things in life, I've struggled to let go of my strange fear of moving vehicles.

On Sunday -- as my oldest daughter turned 16 and ventured out alone for the first time -- that fear morphed into something so much bigger. Pangs of dread rippled through me while I watched her pull out of the driveway. I probably looked something like this...

This is actually Molly during one of her many
 collick episodes as an infant.

I don't doubt Molly's ability to operate a vehicle (although ...)  But I know one day soon a moving vehicle will start up, back out of the driveway and carry my little girl off to college, off to a life of her own, off to a life where mom's input isn't always wanted or necessary. (Not that it is right now.)
Kitty Forman, a character on That '70s Show, once made a poignant statement about the things we teach our kids. It sits heavily on my heart right now.

She said from the moment our children are born, we're supposed to teach them things -- how to walk and talk, dress themselves, feed themselves, and then one day we wake up and realize that all this time the only thing we're really teaching them is how to leave.

Wow. Before that happens, someone better teach me how to let go.


Laura Pauling said...

I understand! I once got in an accident during rush hour through a city. And I couldn't drive again in heavy traffic for like 5 years and when I did I started sweating and got really tense! And I agree, it's going to be hard to watch theme leave!

Anonymous said...

It is difficult to let go, but finally, when you're old enough--like me--acceptance has set in!

But, enjoy those years when the children are still young, and still home!

I saw your comment I think it was Eric's blog as I'm working through the A to Z challenge list, so I came over to meet you.
Ann Best, Long Journey Home

Lydia K said...

I know, it's so sad right? Teaching them to leave. But we don't want to teach them to be children forever.

Good luck with letting go. It's so hard!