Holding on

Motherhood, to me, feels like a constant letting go.

First, in the delivery room, you let go of that second heartbeat thrumming inside of you. You let go of the sporadic kicks and hiccups coming from your rounded belly and welcome them to the outside.

You quickly let go of all the newborn-sized onesies and diapers, the tiny socks and beanies that your babies never kept on anyway.

You let go of the bassinet next to your bed and the Solly wrap and the colorful playmat with dangling toys.

You let go of the nighttime nursing sessions and the electric pump and the obsession with your freezer stash.

Just the other day I finally brought myself to donate all of my boys’ holiday-themed onesies that aren’t going to fit when the next holidays roll around. It seemed like just yesterday I was zipping them into their striped fleece pajamas with the reindeer on the front.

My kids are currently 14 months and 21 months, so it’s not like they’re going anywhere anytime soon. Right now they are asleep and I can hear the sound of their noise machines set to ocean waves. I have come to enjoy the quiet comfort of nighttime, when we are all together under one roof.

I know the ultimate goal of parenting is to raise children who will step out into the world on their own, forging a brave new path. I have no doubt that my children will take on their lives with gusto and grace. It just seems odd to spend so many years growing so intimately connected with someone that you hardly know where you end and they begin, only to eventually push them out of the nest and wave goodbye. I know that’s the way it should be, though, and I’m trusting that God will give me the grace I need to let them drive off to college or wherever when the time comes.

For now, I’m going to savor the fact that my babies still depend on me to change their size 4 diapers and cut up their food and scrub their little heads in the bathtub. I’m going to delight in the way K waves at trees like they’re his friends, the way CJ belly laughs when you tickle his sides, the way the three of us will spend afternoons in the front yard kicking the soccer ball around. One day I will have to let all of these things go, but right now, I’m holding on tight.

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