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13 Responses to Letting Go, Slowly

  1. Amy  

    Thank you, Seonaid. 🙂 My oldest is 10 and I have many similar sentiments.

  2. Momma Jorje

    What a beautiful representation! So then you still have all the tokens? Do you keep them in a special box or something?

    With a 12yo and a 1yo… I can relate, living both ends of the spectrum at once.

    • Seonaid  

      We still have them; they are in the gift bag we put them in at the ceremony. I had always been planning to hand them over to him as some sort of coming-of-age, maybe at his 12th birthday. I had a lovely time going through them while writing this post.

  3. Jenn Collins @ Monkey Butt Junction  

    That was beautiful, so beautiful. My son is only 15 months and I get weepy about him growing up already, but your post really puts things into perspective. I’m so glad we hold on so tight now so that he has this strong, secure foundation on which to build his own life.
    Beautiful post.

    • Seonaid  

      Thank you. It can be tempting to keep holding on. Sometimes I want to snuggle him, but it’s a very rare event these days, and I needed to find a way not to be hurt by that. It is right for him to grow away from me; that’s the point of all of this.

      This process (that I’m talking about in this post) is more about me growing up as a parent, so that I can be the mother he needs at each stage of the game… so that I can learn to let him make more decisions (and mistakes). I don’t want to be the one who tells my kids what school to go to and what to study, although I’d like to be the one that they trust well enough to ask for help on such big decisions. And I certainly don’t want to be the mother who is still using guilt to attempt to control her children’s lives when they are in their 30’s! (Not that I think there’s actually much risk of that.)

      I think of this Natural Parenting thing as a continuum, as a special kind of relationship between two human beings. (I have other kids, but let’s do this one relationship at a time.) I can give him the base to grow from, and not interfere with the development of his wings, but I can’t control the outcome. All I can do is be conscious about the decisions that I’m making, and not overburden this particular relationship.

      And I’m going to stop now, before the comment winds up longer than the original post.

      • Jenn Collins @ Monkey Butt Junction  

        I think the natural parenting relationship is a very dynamic thing. I know that I have grown and changed as my son has. For me, that also makes it tempting to look back and become critical of the early parts of our relationship but I have to remind myself that hindsight is 20/20, and so long as I learn and grow, the process itself is a good one.

      • Seonaid  

        @Jenn Let’s see – it’s the biggest job that we’ve got, we’re learning on the job, we’re all amateurs, and nobody is entirely clear what the goals are… we’re bound to have some “regrets” (or however you experience that 20/20 hindsight). It’s the process.

        Actually, I saw a comment on this post on somebody else’s Facebook wall where she said, “Her son’s only 12. She doesn’t know anything about letting go.” And I thought… Really? We can’t know anything about parenting until we aren’t doing it any more? I didn’t say this wasn’t going to get more difficult; I just said that I think of my life as a parent as being a preparation for that separation. Anyway, here I am making another GIANT comment. Bye!

  4. Kat

    Beautiful!
    I always love reading pieces that put into words the way I feel.

    Thank You!

  5. One Rich Mother  

    This was great. Beautiful. : )

  6. Rachael  

    I’ve been weeping, on occasion, about the necessity of letting go since the Critter was just days old. But, as my teacher reminded me, it is in his nature to grow. I wouldn’t want him not to grow, right?

    I’ve been reading Pema Chodron these days, and she talks about “unconditioned sadness,” the “genuine heart of sadness.” Oh, and doesn’t a mama know.

  7. melissa aka equidae

    what a lovely post. it puts things in perspective to me. thank you for such a gentle reminder