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Friday, October 21, 2011

The Art of Letting Go

(Lily Baker's baptism in 2007)

I walked into my bedroom this morning to find Lily Baker crying.

"What's wrong?" I asked.

"I don't want to get married one day and move away from you!" she cried. Tears were streaming down her face and she began sobbing.

I picked her up and put her in my lap. "Baby, that's so far away. One day that will happen and you'll be ready for it. But not right now. And not anytime soon!"

That didn't satisfy her.

"But, Mommy," she cried, "I don't EVER want to move away you. I want to live with you forever!"

As I held her, I said the two words I meant more than anything in this world.

"Me too."

My girls are only 17 1/2 months apart. When Lily Baker was born, I suddenly had two babies under the age of two. There were days the first year of Lily Baker's life that I truly didn't know which end was up.

My friends with older children would say, "Enjoy these days because they go by so fast."

I thought they had been hit over the head with a hammer. So fast?? When you have two children in highchairs and wearing diapers, NOTHING goes by fast.

Then one day I pulled up at a big, giant school and walked my oldest into kindergarten and realized they were right.

My pastor says the whole goal of parenting is to one day work yourself out of a job. You want to equip your children so that when it is time for them to leave, they can survive without you.

When you have little ones, that's a tough pill to swallow.

Each day, I see them gaining more and more independence. Ann Catherine now carpools to dance. The other day as I walked Lily Baker into her dance class she commanded, "Mommy, stop right there! I can open the door and walk into class all by myself. Don't help me!" I think I felt a little bit of my heart break at that moment.

The other night Chris and I were putting the girls to bed. It had been a particularly long day and I was looking forward to having a couple of hours of peace and quiet before I went to bed.

I had hugged and kissed them both repeatedly as I tucked them in. I made it all the way to the door, just a few more steps away from collapsing on the sofa. Then Lily Baker said,

"Mommy, can I have just one more hug?"

So I turned around and went back because I know the day will come when I'm begging her for hugs instead.

I hope that day is a long way off.

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