Learning to let them go

The teenage years. Oh, honey we’re just starting. The boyfriends. The girlfriends. The hormones. The attitudes. The DRAMA. And we have double the trouble with TWO teens in our house!

They can be absolutely dreadful. They are awful to get up in the mornings. They are careless at times. They are quick to give a sassy answer. They leave clothes on the floor. They forget everything.

But through all of that I see them finding themselves. I see them trying too hard. I see them taking chances and being afraid. I see them creating their own style. I see them trying to fit in. I see them being creative. I see them being independent. I see them. I truly see a glimpse of who they will become.

I see what they want me to see. But I also see what a mama sees. Our babies are growing up and learning to fly. How in the world do we let them go?

In a recent conversation with a good friend of mine, we were sharing about our kids and she sang these lyrics to an ABBA song from the movie Mamma Mia!…

“Slipping through my fingers all the time
Do I really see what’s in her mind
Each time I think I’m close to knowing
She keeps on growing”

Every time we get to a point as mamas where we think we have a routine and we know what makes our kids happy, sad, or mad… they change in the blink of an eye. And it’s that fast. And we’re just trying to keep up.

The scariest part is not knowing what’s going on in their crazy little minds. It wasn’t that long ago that I had a baby girl who told me everything and now that baby girl is taller, prettier, and quieter. It can feel so incredibly lonely when you realize they have a mind of their own and don’t need you as often.

These teenagers… they want what they want. They want to do what they want to do. And as much as I feel like they’re slipping out of our control more and more with each passing day, I know that I have to let it happen. No matter how much it scares me. No matter how much I will worry about them. No matter how much we preach. No matter how much I pray they will make good decisions.

They will be okay.

They will be okay because we have been raising them in a good home from the start. We have instilled values in them and tried to teach them respect. We are hard on them about everything but we make sure they know we love them too. We have made them do their own laundry and get along with their siblings. They’ve learned how to do yard work and keep up with their responsibilities like washing dishes. We’ve made them apologize and learn how to talk to people. We’ve taught them to empathize with each other. We’ve taught them to care for one another. We’ve shown them what real love looks like.

Now all we can do is love them. Love them and let them make mistakes. Pick them back up when they fall. Listen to them when they allow us to. Be there when they need us.

What they don’t know is that in the process of them finding their own way and figuring out who they are, they are still showing me who I am, too.

Just like them, I’m afraid but also taking chances. I’m trying to find my way in this thing called motherhood. I’m going to forget everything too, and I’ll probably, definitely be dreadful at times.

They will be okay. I will be okay. We will spend these days together just like we’ve always done… but when it’s time for them to fly, we’ll let them go.



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