November 8, 2011

Watching Over

As I remind him to wear a coat because it's cold outside; his face falls. I've belittled him. He's eleven, not five.

It's a habit, this routine of watching over them.  Of asking if they're hungry, and are they sure.  Do they want a jacket or (heaven forbid) my wrap?

Our friends had a family emergency this week and I offered to watch their girls.  Sweet ages, nine, four and two.  So very sweet. Requiring blissful watching over. I reminded the girls to wear their coats and wipe their noses.

And I was thrilled to see my babies watch over them too.  They bounced the girls gently on the trampoline, submitted to four-year-old storylines in Barbieland, and put tiny shoes on tiny feet.  I saw what snuck up on me these past years--they've grown.  They're wiser, stronger forms of themselves. They don't need my help like they used to.  Instead, they long for respect of who they've become.

I want to give them that respect.

So next time my son heads for the chilly outdoors,
I'll attempt not to shout after him about a coat.

He's eleven after all, not five.

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  1. I was warmed by your beautiful description and how you describe our process of letting go of our kids. You are a good momma.

  2. Oh, by the way the caring never goes away, it just becomes quieter, wait until they are 32 or so and you'll see what I mean.
    A very nice post, I agree with JeMA, you're a good momma.
    God bless, Geoff.

  3. There will come a time when they'll miss that "watching over", but will never say so. I miss it even today! :)

  4. I've been struggling with my daughter growing up and not needing me as much lately. I think I need to take a cue from you - to respect who she's become.

    It's hard though, isn't it? But completely worth it. :-)

  5. I swear this post could be about me and my kids. My 14-year-old is especially longing for more respect and independence. I'm trying to let go--some. :)

  6. oh i have the same problem remembering how old my son is. even tho he's as tall as me!

  7. It's bittersweet to see them grown up. And it goes all too fast.

  8. Yes indeed they grow up and we have to let them go. It's hard. I remember last year when Jess, my eldest got her drivers license - she was so excited we let her take her little sister out for dinner - my husband and I almost didn't make it that day waving the two of them goodbye. My husband's mom (who lives with us) still says to my 51 year old husband - 'son it's cold out you should have your jersey on' - much to me amazement.

  9. My girls are still babies and need SO MUCH watching over! I often look forward to the day when they'll be more independent, knowing at the same time that it will be hard when that day comes. Sounds like I need to soak it in while I can!!!

  10. Oh how we long for the days when they do not need so much watching over...then when that times comes (so so quickly) we wistfully wish they needed it just a bit more. Your post heartwarming and a touch of bittersweet...

  11. It's definitely a continuous basis of learning when to let go, and give them more room. My son still reminds me that at nearly 16 he is not going to be as affectionate as when he was 6 but he still likes a hug every now and then from his mum!


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