I Won't Let Go of You Ever
"'I won’t let go of you ever.' I used to say that to you, Mom, and then you would tickle me to make me let go." My sixteen year-old daughter recently shared that memory with me on the eve of her going to summer camp. She said it matter-of-a-factly, not meaning to be hurtful or negative. But I felt a stab of regret. Oh, how I wish I could go back to those days, take it back, and let her hang on forever.
The memory is fresh, but buried under piles of today’s issues—things to do, plans to make, worries to stew over. How did I get so far removed from those precious moments? My baby grew up. She turned into a teenager. And though she is a fabulous young woman, she is still a teenager, no longer my baby. She is separating from me and growing into her own person. Those heart-to-heart moments are fewer.
What do I do with the regret, with the tinge of sadness of her childhood gone forever? I yank myself into the present and embrace it. This morning I took her to the church to go to camp. We had a few extra minutes to so we went to Starbucks.
“Do you want to sit here for a few minutes or head to the church?” I maturely gave her the choice.
“Let’s stay here.” She smiled up at me as she took the first sip of her vanilla frappacino.
My heart smiled and I’m sure my face showed it. We sat at a little table by the window and talked and laughed about nothing. She shared a bit of her whipped cream with me and for ten minutes I was in Mommy Bliss, just me and my girl. I refused to think about anything other than her. I did what is normally hard for me—I lived in the moment. Ahh. It was sweet.
Mom, I know you’ve heard this 1,000 times, but it’s true, your kids won’t always be this age. Live in as many of their moments as you can. You will forever be thankful you didn’t let go before it was time.
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