Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Learning to Let Them Go

This week, with Samuel applying for a job and opening a bank account and things like that, has had me thinking about learning to let him go. I thought that I had done that, but every time he'd be gone down to WA to do these things, I'd be worried about him deep down inside. If you'd asked me if I were worried, I'd have said no, because I didn't realize that I was. But yesterday, he was telling us at supper how the teller at the bank had helped him with his bank forms. She was helpful and courteous. Then the lady at the post office was nice too. He had stopped by to register for Selective Service, but they didn't have any more forms there. He stopped at the library to see if they had them, and the ladies there were nice and helpful. As he's telling me all this, I found my stomach tying up in knots thinking of him running all over the place trying to get these things done. Then, with each instance resolved by helpful people, I would relax again. Then I realized . . . I was still thinking like the mother of a little boy! LOL I was worried that he couldn't take care of himself, and that no one would help him.

The same thing happened last night when I learned from someone else that the place he'll be working next week is hard and expects just short of perfection from its employees (that means they expect good work). My very first thought was that they would hurt him! Today, that seems preposterous, but last night, I was ready to fight for my cub! LOL I even asked Wes if they would hurt him, at the moment that thought hit my mama brain, and he looked at me like I had two heads or something. I don't blame him. And poor Sam was sitting there with this look of disbelief on his face.

These are feelings I didn't even realize were in my heart. I think it's just part of mothering; you know, I've spent the past 18 years making sure he was fed and clothed and clean and doing everything I could to protect him from any harm. When he lost a bunch of weight in a short amount of time, I quizzed him on how he was feeling and what he was eating. When he began to drive and I was the one in the car with him, I'd tell him what he should or should not be doing (I know it drove him crazy, but that's my job - to drive him crazy!). Now those things are changing. He actually opened a bank account without his dad right beside him. I bet he even chose his own PIN number! He's registered with Selective Service (I won't go there - I abhor the thought of my son being old enough for military service). He drives. All by himself. And he gets home safely even. Without me in the car telling him what to do. Amazing!

What I'm having to realize is that he can take care of himself, and he knows how to get help if he needs it, and . . . now this is what I've been thinking in the back of my mind . . . no one is out to get him! I'm not foolish enough to think that everyone is nice and has the best intentions to everyone around them, but the vast majority of people are just regular old folks like we are. They won't see the boy that I see; they'll see a clean-cut, hard-working young man, a co-worker. Yes, I see the young man. But I don't think I'll ever quite lose sight of that little boy. Even when he's an old man.

13 comments:

  1. You are precious. He's become a great young man because he has had the love of a great mom and dad. I remember the same feelings when my girls were in college, while my daughter was traveling with singing tour groups, when they fly to different states, etc., etc., etc. :)!

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  2. Oh Susan, this so touched me and I needed to read it! My oldest son will 17 in less than four months. He currently has his drivers permit and is working toward his license. Surprisingly, he doesn't seem to be in a big hurry to get his license. He & I often forget that he has his permit... he forgets to ask if he can drive & I forget to offer. Old habits die hard I guess. He also has put in job applications at various places in our area.

    Anyway, that's not really what I wanted to tell you. I'm thankful you took the time to share your thoughts about your son & how he is becoming his own man and becoming more independent. This has actually been on my mind w/my own son (& his brother who is just 18 mo. younger) a lot this past year. It's not that I don't want him to grow up and become a man... I really do! But then I question myself because sometimes I don't. I have a hard time envisioning him on his own. Not because I don't believe he couldn't handle it, but because it would feel like part of our family would be missing w/o him home all the time.

    I don't actually know how to put words to all that I'm feeling as his mom, but your post has helped me see (at least a little) that I need to start letting go.

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  3. You're so sweet, Susan. I don't think any of us really let go completely, or at least that's what my mother keeps telling me. LOL Of course, mine still have several years before "that time" comes for me and I can't even THINK about it. LOL I have a feeling your Samuel is going to do great as he spreads his wings because he's been taught to ACT like a Christian and not just be one. He's also been taught to do his very best. Two things that will take him very far. You've done good!

    ~Kristi

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  4. Susan, I can identify...very much! Unfortunately, I think I still have those feelings occasionally (although I've gotten better!) with my 24-yr old married son but especially the 21 year old still at home!

    My four kids will always be "the kids" when I speak of them in conversation. And when I call them "the kids" I don't mean they are little kids. I just mean they will always be my kids. Sometimes they don't hear it that way though! I think when I lump them all together in that category my son feels that I'm not seeing him as a man yet.

    I remember one of our next door neighbors back where we used to live would always say, "The kids are coming home this weekend!" He was in his 70's, and his son was in his late 30's with wife and his own kids. Yet, he referred to them all as his kids.

    You can take the kid away from his mama...but you can't take the kid out of his mama's heart. But maybe I should let go outside my heart a little bit where they see my reaction to things they do. I do think they are grown up, but I need to show it more in an encouraging way. Thanks for the post, Susan.

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  5. ((( HUGS)))

    I'm not even a Mamma, but I can see from what you've written how hard it is to let them actually BE grown up after you've spent years training them to be grown ups.

    Blessings,

    Trixie

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  6. I can relate perfectly with your feelings. My daughter is 20 and I still have a hard time telling myself she is a young woman and not a little girl. I still snuggle up with her sometimes and call her my baby and she doesn't mind. :)

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  7. It's comforting to know that other moms go through these same things. My oldest two are 22 and 19 -- and I am hanging onto to 13-year-old a little tighter.

    Another thing that is hard is knowing they are going to make some mistakes on the road to full adulthood, but I look back at my own mistakes and how the Lord taught me through them, and I trust He will do the same for them. Yet still as a mom we want to smooth the way and help. :)

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  8. Oh Sis. Susan can I definitely relate to what you are going through. I faced and am still facing at times the same feelings you are experiencing. I had a very hard time with my son getting a checking account and his own vehicle and a job and the whole nine yards. The job thing I'm used to now...he's been working since he was 17 so with him being 21 now I should be used to it huh? The checking account thing and registering for Selective Service...yeah..those were toughies. But I got over those too. Then there was the courtship thing. He began courting and spending EVERY evening at Jessica's. That was really hard. Afterall...I wasn't getting to see him all day cause of work..but he was at least home in the evenings...that changed. And then he got engaged!! That was hard to take cause of the reality that he would be getting married and we wouldn't see him at all for days at a time. He's a year into the courtship and they still aren't prepared to get married...but this is giving God time to work on me a bit. I'm doing much better. I guess the encouragement I can give you Sis....is that it will get easier.

    I'm so glad to hear that I'm not the only Momma that has gone through these feelings. Afterall...he is my "little" boy...right? Not really...not now!!

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  9. Thank you all for your sweet encouragement! When I wrote that post yesterday, I had no idea why I was writing it. It's just what seemed the right thing to do. And now, from your hugs to your encouragement to your shared experiences, I've found that I'm not all that goofy after all (at least not about this! LOL) - it's a Mom thing! Should I tell my kids this, or let them keep thinking Mom's lost it? Thank you all for reading my little ramblings!

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  10. Michelle Harris1:43 PM

    Hi Susan,

    This is Michelle Harris. Remember me??!! I have read your blog since you first started posting and I really enjoy your insights and admire the passion you have for godliness, for your husband and children, and for service to the Lord and others. Many times you have been an encouragement to me and the Lord has used what you have shared to bring conviction in my own life. When I read this post about learning to let go (of our precious arrows) after nurturing and teaching and protecting them all those childhood years, I was so touched. My little ten month old Brayden was on my lap while I read and, though I'm a few years off having to let mine take flight on their own, I couldn't help but give him an extra tight cuddle!

    The Lord's richest blessings to you and your family as you serve Him so faithfully here in North Vancouver.

    Michelle

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  11. Michelle, yes indeed I remember you!!! It is SO GOOD to hear from you and know that you've been reading my blog all this time. I hope you all are doing well . . . please tell your husband and your mom-in-law hello for me, and hug the kiddos. I'd love to see little Brayden - 10 months already?!! We'd absolutely love to see you all again sometime! God bless you and your family!

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  12. I can very much relate to this post. Do you know I *still* ask Ashleigh to call me when she drives somewhere alone? : ) She's married, with a baby! Thankfully her hubby doesn't mind. And now she's getting ready to move 2 hours away. I'll be ok, really I will! : )

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  13. Susan - You posted so many good things this week -- You've been stacking up in my blogline waiting for me to comment *blush*. I loved this post you wrote; it really touched my heartstrings. Our eldest is our 16 y.o. son. He is turning into such a fine young man, but oh he's just turning into it so fast. This fall he starts his senior year of homeschooling. I'm already dreading the day he leaves because I'll miss him so much! It is so encouraging to know that other women go through these same feelings. A mother's heart is a tender thing!!

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Thanks for taking a minute to read my ramblings and leave a comment! I appreciate it!

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