August 30, 2013

Let Her Fly


I stood in the lobby of the dorm with a "Student MOM" button in my hands. It didn't feel real. How was I the mom and not the student?

Seeing my daughter on the brink of adulthood, made me glance back at my own. Had my journey been what I envisioned when I went to college? No, certainly not. Life surprises us like that. Was I disappointed with the turns life had taken? Some dreams had died, others had been born. And no, I wasn't disappointed.

She settled things into her little room. She wanted to arrange it by herself.  I found myself feeling useless, asking if she wanted me to put her books away or make her bed; she shook her head. She wanted her fingerprints on each task.

I stood there wishing for something to do, ANYTHING. I'm a mom, give me a project! I felt uneasy with all the boxes still boxed.

"Just sit down and relax, Mom," she invited.

And that's when I realized, she needed me to just be there. But how do you just be when, from the moment she was handed to you, you've been doing? All those needs, all that tucking in, wiping off and cleaning up; it becomes instinct. It's hard to transition to still hands. I selfishly wanted my hands busy so my heart didn't hurt so much. But she needed me to simply stand beside her and let her fly.

So I sat, on a bed with no sheets, near a pile of clothes unhung, as she unpacked everything and arranged it to her liking. I nodded and smiled. I laughed and listened.

I let her fly.


19 comments :

  1. I'm not sure what's with me today, but this post made me teary eyed. You're a wonderful mom and I hope I can love my children with a gentle and freeing love like you do. You inspire me, friend :) Happy Friday!

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    1. Thank you for those sweet words, Adrienne. Love you! :)

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  2. Holy crud....college!!!!!! That happened fast...I can't imagine, I'd need to keep my hands busy doing as well!

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    1. I know, right??? Oh believe me, I busied those hands ~ on our filthy house. It's a smidge more sparkly now.

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  3. This is beautiful. I cried a little. Thank you.

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  4. This was such a heart felt post. Thanks for sharing.

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  5. Good for you Cathy for Letting Her Fly. I can identify, remember when we left you and Cynthia at Boliver? That was a hard pill to swallow. As we drove home, Mom cried most of the way, I was sad and poor Chris tried to console Mom, we were a sad three and for many days. We did survive and so will you. She is a sweet and wonderful girl and will do well. I must stop since my eyes are sweating, you remember Marines don't cry. Love you and your wonderful family. Miss all of you.

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  6. beautiful heart post Catherine
    another lovely bitter sweet stage we reach as mothers...
    but there is such a need for us to just "be" there for them at a certain age
    i have experienced this with my son too....

    I have been gone form this world all summer, but am not back
    good to see you!

    love and light

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    1. I've been absent a lot this summer too, Cat. It's good to "see" you again. And yes, just being there for them is one of the most important parenting needs.

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  7. Ahhhhhhhhh, nooooo! I would have cried buckets. I'm still coming to terms with my oldest starting pre-K at the elementary school a few days ago. College? No, no, no. Catherine, this is a beautiful post and you are a stronger mama than me. Many hugs to you.

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    1. Thank you, Iluska. I cried my fair share. ;)

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  9. I felt your need to "do" and then my own grieving of my daughter's age. You are gracefully allowing her to find her way in the world. I want to reword it as supporting her in her life instead of letting her go.

    Love to you my friend.

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    1. I like that, Jema. Supporting sounds much more involved than letting go. :)

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