September 2, 2011, 10:45 am
Filed under: back to school, blessings, humor, Parenting, Teenagers | Tags: , ,

“MOM, really, we are a little old for this don’t ya think?” I know, I know but its tradition, just stand in front of the house and let me get your picture. “Its high school, mom, REALLY?” Oh shut up, you know how I get, just stand there and quit making it torture for all of us.

It is the beginning of a new school year. For many parents it brings a sense of relief, yet for others, it is a time of letting go. The first day of kindergarten, the first day of middle school, the first day of high school or college. I have been told that life is a continual beginning and change is the is the only thing we can count on. This may be true, but knowing the truth, does not make it easier.

These milestones we face, are stepping-stones to our kids growing up and becoming their own person. They are reflections of our own childhood experiences, and in some ways, our accomplishments, hope and dreams for what our children will become. That is a lot of ‘stuff’ going through our minds as we send them on their way. How we as parents react in these times of transition is a litmus test for them to know how to respond themselves.

I am a very emotional person, I laugh hard and loud, and I cry very easily. My kids have a love hate relationship with my emoting. It is cool to be loved so much but a little embarrassing to be loved so much. I work hard to let them know that emotions are good and crying is just another form of laughter. They tolerate my picture-taking, and humor me when I tear up over the smallest of things. I attempt to enlighten them with the knowledge that whatever emotion I am feeling, it is all about my desire to see them fly. This is where the four sets of eye rolls come in.

Transitions are hard, letting our kids grow up is difficult. We want them to avoid our mistakes, to not get hurt, to protect them from pain. We want somehow, for them to learn life lessons without the pain and often the trouble that comes from learning life lessons. This is not possible, realistic or healthy, but oh, do I want it. Still I know from my own experience growing up, if you want to learn to fly, you have to be willing to crash, and crash hard.

Our responsibility as parents is not to keep them from crashing but creating a soft place to land. To create environments that let them fail, and then encourage them to try again. I am still learning this, and probably will be for life. My prayer is that my kids will know how much they are loved, and that I will have the same innate sense of timing, of a mamma bird who knows when to push them out of the nest. Fly baby fly.


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