t-ball and letting go

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Something about my youngest son makes me not want to let go. Part of it is that I missed so much time with him. 2 years, 2 months, and 26 days to be exact. 2 years, 2 months, and 26 days that I wasn’t with him, that I couldn’t build all the love and security and teaching into his life that he needs to go out into this great big world. So this, his 6th year of life, has come far too soon for my liking.

I cried the day I signed him for kindergarten, and it wasn’t just because it happened with a semi-fraudulent piece of paper. That experience kind of prepped me to be honest about the fact that I wasn’t ready to leave him alone with his baseball team to ride in the opening day parade to the ballpark. He was scared to do it alone, and he was so little. And if my husband hadn’t been there, I know I wouldn’t have been able to let him do it at all.

When we met up with him after the parade, he was still running scared. He wouldn’t eat his breakfast. He sat on my lap for as long as I could stand because that too-familiar smell of fear was all over him again. After his big brother’s game, we walked over to the t-ball field together. He dragged a bit on the way. You could see the conflict of the extreme passion he feels towards the sport against the fear he felt over doing something new on his own. His pre-game jitters disappeared pretty quickly in the thrill of the game. I never thought I’d be the mom who cried at t-ball games, but there I was, wiping away tears through the first inning.

Watching my son grow up is one of the hardest things I’ve done. I’m not ready for him to move on from me yet. I want every bit of those two years to pour into his little life all the love and affection and teaching and laughing that he missed out on. There are so many things that he should know by now that he doesn’t. I worry sending him out into the world – that he’s not really prepared, that he will be hurt, that he will do the hurting, that he isn’t attached enough to me to come back home when he needs.

I’ve got to hold all those feelings back. I’ve got to send him with a smile, a kiss, a prayer, and no indication of the fear I’m feeling. He has to believe that we are a safe, secure home base that he can come back to when he’s lost or scared or hurt or angry. He needs us still, and we need him. Growing up is hard to do. (for both of us apparently)

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