I know the mom who reads this today and smells baby skin may not at first feel she can relate.

But it is for you, new mom, I write.

It is for me, too, as the mother of babies (nearly) 15, 11, and 9, as I have thus far failed miserably in this message of the heart.

This idea of letting my kids go — I don’t like it.

Preparing Now to Let Go Later via @BoyRaisers

Preparing Now to Let Go Later via @BoyRaisers

I dislike it so much, in fact, that my fingers will barely let me type the words, because in them I find such a cruel irony.

That the children I carried inside my skin, wiped the mess from their bottoms, spilled tears onto the carpet at the frame of their doors while praying for their future, will one day be allowed to walk down their own path, which leads away from the safety of my arms and home.

But it is for this reason we parent: that one day those babies that are ours, but His will grow to be people He will use apart from us. It is in our practice of letting go that we prepare ourselves to see that happen.

This week, I practice letting my oldest baby go by taking him to camp in a different state for two weeks without the ability to text him, hug him, smell his hair.

And I grieve over this idea, because my flesh tells me he is mine and mine, forever, and that he should stay with me and let me baby him and somehow at the same time turn into a man, though I know this is not possible.

And yes…him being mine is true but isn’t, and cruel irony and all, I will one day have to let him go for real.

And I know…that try as I may I can never fully prepare for that day, but I can practice ways now that may make that day a tiny bit less painful.

  • I can practice letting go now by allowing for moments of young independence and cheering for the attempts to do it yourself.
  • I can practice letting go now by letting my child love, respect, respond to people other than me and not feel threatened by it.
  • I can practice letting go now by praying every day that when the time comes for real I do, I will, I can {let go}.

And, on the occasion when y self-dies and I am brave enough to practice letting go by sending that baby who is a young man off to summer camp without me, I will.

Resting in the knowledge that I have parented him there, grateful for the God who has given me the strength to see this day I know is another part of his growth journey.

That baby I smelled and rocked and held and cried tears at his doorframe, I’ll never let him go.

But while he’s with me I’ll practice it, all I can.

So that when it’s for real, I’ll be a little more ready.

How is God calling you to let go, mama?