There will be more and more that I will not only have no control over, but will not be invited to have input into. Classes for college, romantic entanglements, weddings, to have or not to have children, how many to have, where to live. As she pulls away now, in little ways like staying in her room more or just stopping briefly at the house before moving on to a friend’s house or other activities, it “stretches the balloon”, hopefully making me more flexible later.
Lucille Ball once said, “You see much more of your children once they leave home.” That’s all well and good, but seeing and influencing are two different things. By the time my daughters are in the position to make independent decisions, I hope we will have taught them enough to make wise ones. I am just going to have to trust myself to be able to hold my tongue and only give advice when it is asked for. The strength I need then will definitely be an internal one. I will need a special filter for my words to go through, where “you should do such and such” turns into “so how are things going?”
My own mother had a knack for asking leading questions, rather transparently. She wouldn’t tell me what to do, exactly, but would obviously be dragging me to a predetermined destination she had decided that I needed to arrive at. My oldest brother was the master of nodding his head and saying “of course,” and then just going on and doing whatever it was he intended to do in the first place. I emulated that through the years with varying degrees of success, but wasn’t always able to deflect my mothers advice. Guilt would kick in. I aspire to being available for advice when needed, but not an advice giving mother.
Letting go means only that. Letting them go into their own lives, into the outside world. It’s just opening the door, giving them a kiss, and stepping back.