I see a strange thing happening lately. My boys are growing by leaps and bounds and I’m trying to figure out my role in it. Motherhood isn’t straightforward. I don’t have it figured out–and since my boys are 15 and 16 years old I guess I’ll never figure it out! I really hope I’m not the only mom who feels this way!
My role is changing. I need to free them up, let them go a bit, let them fail, let them experience independence. I know this in my head but my heart says something different. My heart wants to keep them little, keep them by my side, keep them physically close to me. But they are growing up. They need me but it looks different than it did a few years ago.
For David this looks like letting him play upstairs while I make dinner. It’s reminding myself he is able to come down the stairs and get me if he needs me. He makes his needs known. I need to let him grow up, be more independent and express his needs. He is sixteen, almost seventeen years old. He needs me but in a different way. He needs me to believe he is capable. He needs me to give him space–to be sure not to smother him. It’s challenging and honestly counter-intuitive for me. Since he was born I have seen love as meeting his needs and being by his side. He’s not so little anymore. Love looks like letting go a little bit.
For Matthias this means giving him support without prompts and reminders. Last week he told me he needed to wake up at 5am to finish up some school work. I wanted to set my alarm and wake up at the same time so I could check on him–make sure he didn’t oversleep or turn off his alarm in a morning fog. I didn’t set my alarm but ended up waking up at 5am anyway. I started down the hallway to check on him and make sure was up and had to stop myself, remind myself–he is capable, he can do this. It’s okay if he fails. he can learn from this. He’s got this. He doesn’t need my help so much as he needs my support. And you know what? He did! He woke up early and got all his work done without any reminders from me. Love looks like letting go a little bit.
This is new ground. It’s strange and disorienting–but also exciting and I’m enjoying a little more ‘me’ time. Do any of you feel this way? Are you trying to let go a little bit? Watching our babies grow up is hard and beautiful!