Before we ever got pregnant, my husband and I promised our families that despite the fact that we live approximately 10 hours and several states away from them, our children would have time with their grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins every summer. In theory, this is a wonderful idea. We imagined our kids running barefoot through our parents’ backyards, playing at the pool with their cousins, visiting the mountains, swinging on tire swings and more. What we forgot was that when the kids were visiting our families, they wouldn’t be with us—and we would miss them terribly! The first day or two of peace and quiet without constant toddler questions is nice. But then, it is too quiet. Less joyful. The house feels a little lonely, to be honest.
As I was discussing this very thing with my mom on the phone, she half-laughed and assured me that she understands how I’m feeling. She has a daughter that lives far away every day (Thanks for the reminder, Mom!). So even though my littles are little—two and a half and two months— I’m realizing that they won’t always be little, living with me, trying to sleep in my bed and constantly craving my attention. I should give thanks for this time and these moments. I should also start preparing my heart for the day when they leave, when they don’t need or want my attention all the time, when they go out in the world on their own.
As a mom, it is so easy to confuse our love of our children with becoming possessive of them. Though they are “ours,” they are really His. We raise them, teach them, encourage them, love them, and then send them. Like all gifts, we must hold them with open hands. Holding on too tightly with clenched fists will just create resentment in them and pain for us when they break free. So while my little one is enjoying time away, and as we are all preparing for the time when our littles become bigs and head out to do their own things, may we love and lead them well, and then let them go, so we can watch them thrive.