The art of letting go

Sunday, January 30, 2011 at 7:37 pm

Talking to a friend of mine, I felt like I was talking to myself, four years ago. Worried that the demands of school were too difficult for my elementary school-aged son, I stepped in, drilled him, bugged him, checked him, admonished him…we had a long year at school. Notice the word “we.” “We” got A’s and B’s. “We” had a decent year. But at some point near the end of the school year, it occurred to me that “we” were exhausted, and this was only elementary school. The years to come would be more demanding. And just like a smoker ready to quit, I stopped helping cold turkey. “Youngest son, I have to stop helping you so that you can learn to help yourself. I can’t keep doing this for you. Your work is now your own. Good luck, soldier.”

And so I cut him loose, and responded by showing me all those hours of hovering over him were wasted. The only one with something to learn was me.

Someone once wisely told me that I should never start something with my children that I wasn’t prepared to continue forever. I should have listened. Our kids need us, for guidance, not for hand holding. There’s beauty in letting go…

Categories: Overview of the Book and Me

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