It was the end of the summer of 2013, and I knew a change was coming.
Another pool season was coming to a close, and as I sat watching my boys play in the water one last time I knew next year things would be different.

They were strong swimmers, could be trusted to make wise decisions, and knew all of the lifeguards by name. In fact, we often closed the place down.


For the past two years, we’d spent all our time sitting and playing near the wading pool. The pool we go to actually has three pools—the larger, Olympic sized pool, a baby pool, and the wading pool (for new or intermediate swimmers). The wading pool was the single most important stepping stone to my boys learning how to swim, and I loved it up there.

At the wading pool they were safe, in my sight, and contained.

But over the summer, they’d been moving down to the big pool more and more often. My youngest son, then just six years old, had even learned to do a pretty sweet back flip off the diving board. I knew the time to let them have free range of the pool had come. There’s not a spot they can go that I can’t see them, and they had spent the whole summer proving their ability to handle that responsibility. So as I looked forward to 2014, I knew I had to let go, just a little.

But I didn’t want to…

Raising independent boys can be hard on a mama’s heart. Most of us would rather place a protective shield around them at all times than muster up the courage we need to let them conquer the world. But we do them a disservice if we hold their hands too long.

This month, we’re going to spend some time talking about practical and spiritual tips for raising independent boys. Giving your boy wings to fly starts with a firm foundation with deep roots at home, and this month’s series will cover tips for doing both.

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