As dusk approaches, my oldest and I slip out to the trail behind our new home for a stroll. The birds chirp as a slight breeze rustles through the trees – music to my ears.
He looks at me with a special smile and grabs my hand. Both of us are lost in thought. I savor the moment and marvel at this season I have with my son, walking hand-in-hand. I know it won’t last forever.
Sure enough, as we round the corner and come to the main road, he releases my hand and stands just a tad taller as his stride lengthens. I sense the subtle change of seasons that is slowly underway.
Part of me wants to grasp a hold of what we had, but I check myself. This is at it should be – the gradual move towards independence. I must hold lightly and remember that my goal is to raise children who are independent from us and yet dependent on the Lord.
This happens step-by-step, day-by-day, as we walk and talk and live life together. As I look back to my own growing up, I remember the two steps forward and then stepping back as if in a dance. I yearned for independence and yet craved the intimacy of family, of belonging. Did my parents marvel at this slow transition – the budding of a separate identity? I don’t remember them hovering or holding me back. Maybe that’s why I know this slow progression is normal and will work itself out. It’s all part of the dance. And now it’s a dance that I get to do with my own children. Always there for them, but not hovering. Preparing and then letting them spread their wings…
Sometimes intentional parenting, means intentionally letting go – and embracing each season as it comes and goes.
Looking forward to the seasons ahead and delighting in the time we have today!