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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Cutting The Strings

I am the mother of two teenage boys. Christian age sixteen and Dominic age thirteen. Lately there has been a lot of string cutting and letting go that frankly, I was not prepared to do quite yet. In fact I was not the one with the scissors doing the cutting, my boys out of nowhere pulled out the scissors and began the cutting of the strings. I was blindsided, bushwhacked, sucker-punched and hit unexpectedly by the string cutting. As a mother I have doted over my boys since the moment I found out I was with child. I remember how connected I felt with them the moment I found out I was pregnant. While they were being knit together within my womb, I called them by name and knew them. After they were born I bonded even deeper with them, knew what each cry meant and what each goo-goo, ga-ga meant. I could even recognize their voice and cry in a room full of other babies crying and goo-goo, ga-gaing. I took pride in the fact that my boys ran to me with every problem and question that they had in life. I loved that they wanted to stay home with me every night and watch our favorite television shows and cuddle on the couch. I was overjoyed that they would rather stay home with me then go out with their friends on the weekends. Now, that has all changed. I sit and watch all of our favorite shows with my two dogs instead of my two boys. They are out with their friends not home with me. I have to dig at them to find out what is bothering them and when I finally get them in a room to do some digging they don't want to talk about it. They would now rather be out with their friends then home with me cuddling. Go figure! In fact I am lucky if I can get them to give me a hand shake let alone a cuddle. They say that string cutting is normal in the growing up process of a child. So why does it feel so unnatural to the parent? Instinctively, I want to still cuddle with my teenage sons, fix their hair, pick out their cloths and giggle for hours together as we talk about the facts of life. But, the scissors have been cutting away at the strings that brought all of those things possible. I know as parents we have to stand back and hope that what we have taught them in their early years will actually be lived out by them in their latter years. I heard a quote once:

"The hardest part of raising a child is teaching them to ride bicycles. A shaky child on a bicycle for the first time needs both support and freedom. The realization that this is what the child will always need can hit hard."
~Sloan Wilson

Freedom. I never realized that my kids needed it, and that as a parent I needed to give it to them. Then I realized something that comforted me. God gives us a time to sit at his feet as children. After we have sat at His feet and learned all that we can, He also releases us into the world to be all that He knows we can be. With shaky hands God lets us go. With shaky hands we too, must let our children go. Letting go is hard, but watching from the sidelines as our kids take flight is so rewarding. You see, I know that as a child of God when I first learned to fly I wanted to fly for miles. Then every so often I would get tired and feel that I needed to stop and go back to sitting at His feet to learn a new thing or two. This realization was comforting to me as a parent because I realized something; yes the strings are being cut, the flying away has begun, but they will be back. No matter how far away our kids fly, they always know the way home and come back.

"And this is my covenant with them," says the LORD. "My Spirit will not leave them, and neither will these words I have given you. They will be on your lips and on the lips of your children and your children's children forever. I, the LORD, have spoken! "
Isaiah 59: 21


BeKay said...

Hi...I've been reading your post (you're on my blog list on my blog) and I feel your pain, for sure. I was the same with my children (I lost my oldest when she was 12 from a disease called cystic fibrosis), and so when the other two started pushing away I was 'sucker punched' as you've mentioned. It's so much harder on the mother, I think. They do starting coming back around 23, so that should give you something to look forward, too.

angelina said...

thank you for your encouraging words. I am sorry about the loss of your son. I can't imagine. Thank you for reading my blog.

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