Tag Archives: letting go



A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance.  Ecclesiastes 3:4


I remember the first time you were whisked away from me.

You were approximately thirty minutes old; ten wrinkled, tiny toes and a head full of fine baby hair.

I'd got to hold you in my arms for a few minutes, but before I knew it, your dad had scooped you up and exited the room along with the nurses.

I knew where they'd taken you. A crowd of merrymakers were waiting in the hall to see you in all your newness.

Your debut consisted of an onslaught of aggressive camera flashes and fawning family members.

Your dad held you up like a young king who would someday rule the world. I can imagine it was something like Rafiki did when he presented Simba to the pride. I'm only guessing.

I wouldn't know.

You see, I was still stuck in the delivery room, by myself. After minutes that seemed like hours of being left alone; you taken from me, I had decided to join the party. But there was a problem.

I put my weight on my hands and scooted to the edge of the bed. Something didn't feel right. My legs weren't working. Still I tried until the nurses came in reminding me that I was immobile due to the epidural I had gotten to help me through the thirty-second hour of labor (had to throw that in).

I was the one who carried you for eight months and three weeks. I was the one who labored to get you here. And now it seemed I was the ONLY one who wasn't bursting with excitement in the hallway. 

For a moment I felt left behind and quite unable to position myself in that happy place with those people in the hall.

I had the same feeling rush over me earlier this week in the parking lot of Hobby Lobby. I'd just experienced an unsuccessful attempt at buying party supplies for your graduation party and decorations for your senior table. I sat in the car bummed at the lack of shopping bags and bummed still, that you're graduating in the first place.

I thought about who I could text:

1. that would be by their phone to provide instant comfort because they understand where I'm coming from

2. and that I haven't already exhausted with "I'm so sad he's graduating" texts.

It pretty much excluded everybody, because here's the thing-

Everybody else is already in the "celebration hall". You're there with them. You're all more than fine with this thing. Your dad is doing his "Rafiki bit" thinking about what bright things lie ahead and I'm still trying (unsuccessfully) to join in.

THAT'S the thought I had earlier this week, but...

I'm making a choice to work myself out of my grief-stricken immmobility, because under the layers of "the last this, the last that" and the slew of tear-inducing pictures of Hay Hay (as we used to call you)......I'm happy.

I'm happy that we made it through Algebra II and the parent portion of driver's ed. I'm proud that I see a guy who's developed a great work ethic and a bright outlook for his future. Standing before me is a boy who solemnly swore "that it would never be uncool to hug his mom". You've kept that promise.

I'm going to turn my sadness into gratitude and get happy with the rest of those who are excited at the new chapter ahead. I'm getting ready for the parties.

I'm choosing gratitude.........even though I've already made this decision about twenty times this year.

I'll choose gladness when I find a tear in my eye when I hear you playing "Landslide" by Fleetwood Mac, and when I think about the milk jug that will probably be lonely in our fridge next August without all its fellow milk jugs that are usually beside it to fill your insatiable thirst. I'll make my sentimentality a reminder to do so. Because this graduation thing is a good thing, even if it makes me sappy.

So congratulations! Let's do this thing.

I'll meet you in the hallway to celebrate. 


I told myself I'd quit writing sappy stuff.  But I just turned forty.  And my son is participating in one of his last High School extracurricular events right now and I'm not there.  My oldest daughter is in her last year of Junior High.  And the youngest won't quit getting taller.  I'll have been married to the sweetest guy for twenty years in June. So just let it go this once, will you?  And then again next week if I regress.

My hair used to be longer.  It was wavy and brown and my firstborn couldn't go to sleep without having his chubby little fingers wrapped around a lock of it. Finding the right lock of hair wasn't easy either.
As soon as I would start the nightly bedtime routine in the creaky old wooden rocking chair that we'd restored, he'd grab for my hair. He would take a chunk.  First, he would pull it. He might decide that hair didn't feel right. So he'd let go and grab again in another spot and then he'd pull again waiting for the right feel.

The second step consisted of his little fingers winding about until there was no more winding to be done and my hair was safely locked inside his small fist. Often times after a minute had passed he would decide that lock of hair just wasn't right either and so he would grab again, and then pull and then wind another bunch of hair around his fingers once again. This was a nightly occurrence.

- a small beautiful misery.



I rocked dutifully while he pulled my hair and looked around the room making sure not to miss a thing even in the dark.  And then he would fall asleep, safe and sound.

The only respite from the nightly hair-pulling came when he noticed a silver charm which  hung on a long necklace that lay close to my heart. My mom had bought me a silver baby shoe charm for my first Christmas as a mom. And so at times, he would instead clutch that.
When Hayden turned nine months old he was ready to stand. He knew there was exploring to be done; flower pots to turn over and cats to toddle after. His first standing moments were with the support of a couch and a little push toy passed down from a cousin. Other times he would stand after having leaned back against the front of my legs while holding my index fingers.  I'd let go and then slowly back away leaving him standing on his own.
I remember distinctly knowing he was ready to walk. I enlisted the aid of my silver necklace to entice him. Standing behind him, I dangled the charm in front of him knowing he would grab after it. And he did.
I pulled the charm up just a little and then moved it just a little farther where he'd have to take one step to grab at it again.  I wanted him to reach for it. Whether or not he knew (I think he did), I was right there behind him even when he could stand unsupported.

That little shoe and I?

We taught him how to walk.

Though part of me wanted to hold his small frame in my arms forever, I allowed him to go and do the thing he was ready to do.

 That's what moms do.

I watched Hayden last week as he filled out a college application.  We talked about signing up for a dorm room just a few days ago.  His leaving is seven months away.   I also got a letter just the other day reminding me that Hallie needs to make her schedule for High School next year. I've asked her for makeup tips several times lately.  And our youngest is flying through chapter books now unassisted. Wish I could take those chapter books and put them on her head and make it all stop.

Not really.  This is what we hope for our children.  We hoped that it would happen slower maybe.

To my kids:

It wasn't so long ago that I held you in my arms. But in the blink of an eye you were ready to walk.  I won't deny it made me a little sad, but oh so proud.  You may not have known it but I was proud even those times I watched you fall; especially when I watched you get back up.  I'll always be behind you rooting you on. And you may not hear me saying it, but I'll be whispering "Reach for it"

Shoes are made for walking.


At a recent Mom’s prayer meeting we were praying for a couple of moms who were having difficulty getting their kiddos into the car-seat without a struggle.   I remember those frustrating days.  I also remember momentarily feeling some instant freedom when my children were out of car-seats and could buckle themselves in.  But as I was praying with these moms I was overcome with sadness.  My kids aren’t car-seat babies anymore.  And while I don’t have to buckle them in, I CAN’T buckle them in anymore.

Hayden will be sixteen in six months.  I won’t always be able to be in the car to tell him to slow down a little quicker when approaching an intersection.  Soon when he is finding that special someone, I don’t get to tell him she’s not enough like me.  Hallie recently shared a secret with a friend.  When I asked her to share it with me she said NO!  In the last couple of years some tears have been shed.  I haven’t always been next to Hallie, tissue in hand, there to hug her.  When Rylie is at school reading and she comes to a word she doesn’t know, I’m not there to sound the word out with her part by part.  I have lunch with her at school every Monday while volunteering.  Are they always going to let me do that?   Is she always going to WANT me to do that?  The awful part is, physically and later geographically, the distance will grow as time goes on.

I am thankful that even though my children are growing tall and independent, they still lavish me with hugs.  Hayden still puts his arm around me at church. Rylie still crawls in our bed occasionally in the morning.  Hallie, our most independent child, spends special girl time just with me once a week.  And they all still sometimes hold my hand.


While in the car alone this evening, I heard a song.  Instantly I thought of my children. There are times when they will face trials and feel alone. There have already been those times. There are times when I can’t be there; times I can’t fix it- I would if I could. There are times I’ve been the one to let them down.  I am more than grateful that I have the blessed assurance that God IS there.  The God who sees is with Hayden when he takes that frightening Math test.  He is with Hallie when she sits alone.  He is right beside Rylie in Sunday School as she is learning who he is.


I’m a little jealous that God sees and knows their every step.  He has stolen their hearts, but how can I complain when he has given me eternity with him and with them.  I pray that every day on this side of eternity this song would be the song of their heart:

Click here:  all this time

My phone wouldn't upload this video.  If you have the same problem you can go to the youtube link and search- All This Time Britt Nicole