We parked in front of the school, where a group of students he had never met awaited.
I walked him to the double doors, resisting the urge to slip my arm around him.
I stopped to speak to a staff person to get details on when and where to pick him up.
Then I forced myself to walk away, get into my black kia, and drive out of the parking lot without him. My heart was heavy with worry but I refused to let the tears sting the back of my eyes. I had to trust that he’d be fine. This was just another rung on the ladder to manhood.
But it felt like the first day of kindergarten all over again.
I left my son alone at the gym of a new school where the entire high school football team had gathered for their first practice. He was surrounded by a hundred students, a couple familiar faces, and no friends.
And I was home breathing into a paper bag.
One of the hardest things for a mom is letting go, and learn to step back and trust God with her children.
I always thought withdrawing would get easier with time. Now I’m not so sure! I’ve never considered myself as a helicopter mom, constantly hovering. But sometimes watching my children grow up can make my heart skip a few beats. (Especially little boys who love danger!)
I don’t know why some new tasks are easier to watch than others. But I do know we can’t hold our children back because we’re afraid. Fear is not of God. As children grow, they must put away childish ways (1 Corinthians 13:11). And it’s our job to guide them along the way. It’s unfair of us to hide them away or drag our feet. We must give them new freedoms a little at a time and set appropriate boundaries.
So how does a mom work on letting go, stepping back, and placing her children into God’s hands?
We just do it. And then we spend a lot of time on our knees.
What does that look like?
- God will never leave our children alone (Deuteronomy 31:6); we remain thankful for His blessing, provision, and protection.
- We pray that God will remind our children of all they’ve been taught. We did the best we knew how and that’s all God asked of us.
- We remind ourselves over and over that our children may get a little scuffed up in this crazy world, and we don’t have to like it, but they will be just fine.
- They will mess up. They will fail. They will get hurt. They will suffer. But we are always there to help them keep going. We don’t shame them, we encourage them.
Trusting God with our children may not always be easy, but it’s worth it. It’s such a good feeling when we see them succeed and we know we did the right thing by granting freedom!
“Let the little children come to me.” Matthew 19:14