This morning my daughter called me from New York City all excited about the progress she has been making with settling in. Itâ€™s no small feat for a 19 year old to organize her schooling, find an apartment and learn her way around the city. Iâ€™m really proud of her and, to be honest, amazed that she can handle it all so gracefully and with a smile. Yes, I offered to go with her but she felt Iâ€™d be in the way, so I backed off; hard for any mother to do but especially for this mother. Raising 10 children has changed my personality into one I like to call â€œthe generalâ€. Am I a control freak? Possibly. Do I always succeed? Definitely NO!
I donâ€™t like to admit it, but Iâ€™m not the most adventurous type. I donâ€™t like roller coasters, I donâ€™t like fast cars and I donâ€™t like New York City. So to put it in her words (kindly said), â€œmy coming to help is akin to babysittingâ€. I could have gotten really insulted by her remark but before I reacted, I thought for a moment and realized, â€œyes, sheâ€™s right. I donâ€™t know my way around and sheâ€™d have one more thing to worry about.â€ So I let go. That being said, my â€œmotherâ€ instincts are stronger than my fears, so if she needs me, I will come.
How many times have we talked and talked and not been heard? As mothers we tend to see the world differently. â€œIf only they would listen, theyâ€™d avoid a lot of pain and be happy.â€ We want to make everyone feel better, especially those we love. There are days that I wish my kids were still little and their troubles could be taken care of by a band aid, a kiss and a candy. â€œAll better now.â€
As our children grow we need to learn to let go. We need to talk less and do less. In this way, we will be heard more. We need to trust that we raised them to be independent responsible adults. We need to trust ourselves enough to know that they, our children, will be okay — they will survive. And most importantly, we need to give ourselves permission to let go. When our children know we are there for them, on the sidelines, ready to give a hand when needed, whether it is a band aid, a kiss, a candy, a word or just an ear, it gives them the courage to go out into the world and begin their lives. Less talk, less doing for — less noise — is more powerful a teacher than anything said.