How Did This Happen? A Mother’s Reflection…

A picture tells a thousand words…the above is a picture of the bathroom my kids used while growing up. It also doubled as my guest bathroom. It has clearly suffered its wear and tear.

The chip in the tank lid was from my youngest son. When he was a kid, he would hold his breath while looking at himself in the mirror. We had no idea he did this…until one day we heard a crash in the bathroom! Rushing in, we saw him lying passed out, with his head on top of our little bathroom trashcan. It was a horrific sight! He had held his breath until he lost consciousness, hit his head on the back of the toilet, and then hit the ground. Thankfully, when he came to he was totally fine.

As this same child prepares to leave for college—the last Williams kid to fly away—leaving us with an empty nest, and a chipped and quiet house, I feel like I’m spinning around asking, “How did this fly by so fast?” I know, I know, it’s so cliché, “they grow up so fast,” we’ve all heard it many times.

When they grow up, and leave, the finality of it is quite sobering. Parenting is done. Over. You can’t go back.

From the time our children are born they are moving away from us.

During the time they are being formed in the womb we have this little life with us constantly, and as soon as they are born the letting go process begins. The first time you hand your baby off to be watched by another, a mom must let go. The hugs, kisses, and goodbye wave on the first day of kindergarten, the closed door with chants of “leave me alone,” the request for the car keys, until that last day when bags are packed and they stand on their own. Independent. Moving on. Moving away. Starting his or her separate life away from you.

Yes, from the day they are born they are moving away from us. As they become adults we need to learn a whole new way of relating. If you stayed present throughout the growing up years you will most likely have the joy of time spent after they become adults. If we hold on too tight we end up pushing them away from us. It’s a delicate balance.

Hold…but not too tight.

“They grow up so fast.” We hear it so often because it is true. Don’t miss it. Don’t be so focused on things that don’t matter in the long run that you miss today.

Until next time, love your family today.

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