Friday, April 30, 2010

Letting go a little at a time

I'm anxious about Dd#1's 8th grade graduation ceremony. It's a lovely ceremony in June that our Catholic homeschool group puts on for 8th and 12th graders.

I don't have to do much of anything, so I'm not anxious about that.

We've had Confirmation and we've been preparing for high school -- and you'd think both of those things would make me stress more than some little (although beautiful) ceremony.

At the park, a friend nailed down why I'm anxious (thanks, Dawn.)
It's a finality. The childhood part of her life is really closed.
You're ushering in the transitional years to adulthood.
That's it. That's why I'm anxious. I know the next 4 years are so very precious and they'll fly by. I have such a short time left with her -- and so much to do -- so much to teach -- and what if I do it wrong. It's less about academics (although that's part of it) and it's more about helping her become the woman God means for her to be. Woman. The word makes me woozy when used in context of my little girl. I yelled too much when she was little -- I'm better about that, now, but I can't go back and hold her on my lap and read her a quick story to make her know how much I treasure her.

I feel like I lost some of those precious years. I was tired from having babies. I was overwhelmed from learning how to do my job. I was still growing into my vocation. I can't get those years back. I have such a short time to teach her the tremendous dignity of her femininity and the balance of submission vs. standing up for what you know is right and when to do which. I have so few years to help her internalize how to treasure her own heart before she gives it to someone else. If God calls her to be a nun it will mean an even bigger sacrifice to me. I give each of my children to Him for His purposes and trust Him -- but it's hard.

I feel like my relationship with her will be forever changed when she's an adult and then when she leaves our home. Even if she lived at home for college, she won't really be mine, anymore. Not mine to scoop up and toss in the air for a giggle and dance around with. I'll have given her to the world -- and to herself. Her decisions, her time frame, her activities will all be her own. As it should be -- but she won't really be mine, anymore. It's more like I'll be hers. Hers to spend time with when she can fit it in. I'll be her mother in the capacity that she'll allow.

This is really scary stuff and I can only cry out to God to help me grow the virtues she'll need, so I can help teach them to her.

8th grade graduation seems like such a little step, but it feels like I'm taking one more step to a fast approaching destiny that I only have so much control over. My time is now. And the time is so precious; as precious as she is to me.


  1. Jenn - What a beautiful post!! You do an AWESOME job raising your kiddos. Keep up the great work.

    I love the last photo of the two of you; it is so precious.

  2. No fair, I'm crying now. This is so beautiful and such a great reminder to make the most of each moment with our kids. Although I don't know your girls super-well, it sure seems to me that they're well on their way to becoming lovely, virtuous women.