Throughout our lives, things happen that shift the entire flow of what we know and love. What we thought was our normal or what we had become unaccustomed to, is suddenly changed. One of the biggest changes comes when your children leave you to go live their own lives.

I always felt that being a parent of a newborn baby or small child was the hardest time for a parent. There is so much to take care of, think about and do, you run your self ragged. You take care of their every need and you protect them with every ounce of strength you have. It’s a task so great that, at times, you feel completely overwhelmed.

I was so wrong. The hardest part of parenting is when you can’t take care of them and protect them anymore. When they leave home to go away to school or they just move way from home, it is heartbreaking. It's a day that you knew would come, but there was no way to prepare for it and it crushes you like a ton of bricks.

When you can’t shield them from the world, it is terrifying. This is what it’s like. Imagine that your toddler is standing at the top of a steep staircase and you can’t hold their hand as they try to walk down the stairs. The only thing you can do is rush to the bottom of the stairs, hoping to catch them if they fall. But, sometimes you can’t. They fall and they fall hard. You then try to pick them up and help to heal their wounds. That’s all you can do. There is no saving them BEFORE the fall.

When they are grown and going out into the world, you struggle to let go because you know there are things that will hurt them, mistakes they will make that will hurt them and you can’t do anything about it, but you must let them go, learn and grow.

My friend Susan is going through this time right now. She is letting her son go. Little did she know, while she was saying her goodbyes, a wonderful and caring young mother was watching and feeling empathy for her. Knowing she was suffering during this time, she reached with a priceless gift of kindness. #BeLikeJassica

After I talked about Jessica and Susan on the air, I received this message on Facebook from Theresa A.

Well now ya did it.....flood get opened and I have been so proud of myself.
Dropped my one and only at college Monday. I cried for months before but swore I’d be brave and ready and encouraging for this new chapter. I was so excited for her, more than sad for us. Their was some small bumps that day and she had a meltdown at 9pm the first night staying alone in her dorm. Her roommate wouldn’t be there for a few days and she never spent the night alone before. She just wasn’t that kid.
Sooooo, I’ve been enjoying the quiet at home, I’ve been finally getting sleep. I’ve been not shedding a tear. Well last night at 11pm I get the text, “sorry I haven’t been texting but a couple times a day. We sit talking, walking at night (she’s afraid of the dark), going for food and random stuff. So glad I have company. Well I’m home, time for bed”.
It’s real now, this is her thing, her new life and i prayed for years it would be. But I know know it’s real, she doesn’t call asking me questions, she asks friends. She doesn’t want a visit from family this weekend, she wants her new friends.
And home? Who says a dorm is home? 💔

So I know that hug, I’m glad that Jessica knew that hug and knew how hard that moment was and wanted to pick up someone instead of making fun that they aren’t letting go!!!!!!
#sadtearstoday

 

It's an incredibly important and meaningful time in both of your lives. At this moment, you and your young, adult child stand at the edge off an ominous, scary and beautiful forest, not knowing what lies ahead. Your child steps away from you and walks into the woods leaving you standing at the edge. As your child slowly walks deeper into the woods, they look back, over their shoulder and smile at you. With a lump in your throat, you smile back. Then, they turn and continue their journey, knowing that if the woods gets too dark, you are always going to be there standing in the light.

If you see or know someone who is having a hard time letting their child go, be more like Jessica.

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