My first instinct is always to jump in and be the barrier between you and the world. My muscle memory is to protect you from anything that could potentially cause you harm or sadness. And more and more as the days pass by, I find myself fighting an internal battle between the part of me that wants to fix everything for you both and the part of me that knows it’s important for you each to learn to trust in yourselves and your own abilities to navigate new experiences.
Thankfully, the voice of reason is growing louder with each year that passes. And even though every fiber of my being wants nothing more than to be a helicopter mom who shadows your every move and choice, I know that is not what either of you needs from me. I am always trying to toe the line between keeping you safe and giving you enough space and encouragement to find your own way. And oh man you guys, that is so insanely hard sometimes.
This past weekend, I watched you help each other climb to the top of a ladder on the big kid side of the playground. Your little hands held on so tightly to each other as you went higher and higher and everything in me wanted to go and put my hands out towards you. But instead, I stopped, took a deep breath and said to myself, “They’ve got this”.
I stood a few feet away, every muscle in my body ready to leap forward should one of you slip, but I stood my ground, hide my panic, and smiled and told you that you were doing a great job.
And you were. You both surprised yourselves with your strength and perseverance. The look of pride on your faces & the high-fives when you reached the top by yourselves assured me I had done the right thing in staying back.
It reminded me of the internal battle I will fight until you both are grown. I fought it on your first day of school, Noah. Aria, I’ll be facing the same fight with you when you begin kindergarten in a few months. I dread the first time someone breaks your heart. And the first trips you take away without me. And the day you get your drivers licenses. And the day you move out of our house.
I can assure you that at every turn, a voice inside me will be shouting. “No! Wait! Stop! Let me help you! Let me go too!!”
But thanks to God and his endless grace, the reasonable side will win, as it always does.
I will take a deep breath, look into your beautiful brown eyes, and I will tell you how much I love you and remind you that I am here if you need me. That I will always be right here. And every single ounce of me will be waiting eagerly to remind you both that we can do hard things. I will always be ready to answer your call, should you need me. But I will do my best to take a step back, and whisper to myself again and again and again.
They’ve got this.
Wave to me from the top, my loves.
I love you to the moon & back,