Monday, March 2, 2009

{don't} go

This is what it says:

When I was growing up my parents made it clear that they wanted me to go and grow. They valued raising independent, capable children. Children that would become reliable adults. When I wanted to spend summers working at summer camps away from home, they encouraged it. When I wanted to travel throughout Europe with a missions organization, I got their unwavering blessing (and financial support!). And when I spent a semester in a Third World country learning Spanish and avoiding hurricanes and tropical diseases, they were proud.

This is not to say that they didn't want me nearby. Allowing me to roam and travel and learn was nerve-wracking and stressful for them. And I never went more than a week or two without touching base with them in a meaningful way. And this is not to say that they expected me to be financially independent before I was ready. After all, they provided me with a college education and met so many of my needs, burdensome and petty alike. At the time, I appreciated their support. I appreciated their desire for me go and test myself out on this world.

What I did not appreciate was how hard that must have been. Easing into their shoes, as I become a parent myself, I am starting to see that allowing me such freedoms could not have been easy. Andrew, I can barely let you out of my sight. I cannot imagine letting you traipse about the planet. I want you here, with me. And right now, that is completely appropriate. You are 3 years old, after all. I just hope that someday I have the courage to do for you what my parents did for me. I hope that I can encourage you to go and grow. But for now, stick close by. Okay?


Mama V said...

Made me tear up and sniffle. Thanks.

Cat said...

I hope that my children can say the same of their parents when they have children. Great page.

debs14 said...

Take it from a mum of a 22 and a 19 year old, letting your children have their independance is one of the hardest things you have to do! But you just have to trust that you have prepared them well, that they are sensible enough to know the difference between adventure and danger, and they know that you are always there to come back to. Life will be easier for you that now everyone is able to keep in contact so much easier with mobile phones and internet, imagine how worried your parents must have secretly been when you were out of contact completely! Yet you returned safe and sound and secure in the knowledge that they loved you enough to encourage you to spread your wings and experience life outside of the 'safe' home zone. Parenting - toughest job in the world!