After a long exhausting delivery, a baby boy was placed in my arms.
I remember feeling overwhelmed, I remember shaking from exhaustion.
But my fatigue and pain faded to the background, the moment I held him for the first time.
It wasn’t just a child that was born that day, a mother was also born and a love beyond comprehension.
Something in my mind and spirit opened up and I never saw the world the same way again.
From that moment on, I wept, whenever I saw the news.
With every casualty I realized that that was someone’s baby, someone’s child.
The irony is, that at the same time that an alertness and a desire to keep my baby close was awakened in me, a will and force to stand on his own was stirred up in him.
Yes, I had brought this little boy into the world, but he wasn’t mine. Yes, mine to hold, but for a short amount of time. He was born to walk his own course and to be his own person.
To emphasize this the cord binding us together was cut.
And thus started our walk together. His, a walk of learning to take his own steps and mine, a walk of loosening grip by grip.
“Hold my hand as you cross the street.”
“You get back here, young man!”
“Yes, you can walk ahead in front of me as long as I can see you”
“You may ride your bike, but you have to stay on the curb.”
I held him, carried him, I cheered him on.
I held his hand and accompanied him, I sometimes gave him a little push when he lacked confidence.
And on many, many occasions I held him back.
“No, don’t touch that, that’s hot.”
“No, you can’t watch that, you’re too young.”
“No, you can’t go there, that’s too far.”
And now I have to let him go beyond my grasp, beyond my sight.
A part of my job is done and my role is changing.
I can no longer hold him back.
I have to let him go yet a little further.
The other day I accidentally grabbed his hand as we were crossing the street. He quickly pulled his hand away and gave me a look fit for crazy people.
My mistake, I thought, for one moment I mistook you for the little boy you once were.
My little boy is going to high school.
Can someone please hold me now?
Do you have moments that you have trouble letting your child or children go?
This is an original post for World Moms Blog by Mirjam of the Netherlands. Mirjam also blogs at Apples and Roses.
Photo credit: kwanie. This picture has a creative commons attribution license.