sweet child, I don’t know if I’m ready

I remember the day you were born.

It’s etched in my mind, the sun shining and piercing my eyes as we drove to the hospital, the waiting, the pain – oh you caused so much pain, the labor and then you there, in my arms, so small, so fragile. You were feisty, really feisty. Everyone would comment to me about that. I was proud of it, honestly. It made me secretly happy that you were standing your ground, even when you were so small.

And you were small. This under seven pound creature, in this world of giants, and now, now here we are, on the brink of you graduating and leaving and honestly, even though I’ve done it before, I’m not really feeling ready.

I don’t know if I’m ready to let you go.

I’ve never been ready.

Maybe motherhood is so much about not being ready but being strong in the midst.

Like the first day you walked into school. My word, I think I worried all day. But instead of worry plastered on my face, I sucked it in and told you how proud I was of you and how you’ll do great and how you are wonderful and amazing. You didn’t know I fretted all day and drank extra coffee and then calming tea to calm my nerves from worrying and the caffeine. You didn’t know I couldn’t sleep the night before. You saw me, smiling, encouraging.

You are amazing.

Sometimes us parents struggle in letting go.

We’re never really ready.

Just like you all. I know it’s strange and stressful to be getting ready to leave all you’ve ever known. I know, I remember, even though you might think I’m so old and don’t really get it. But I do get it. But, listen, listen, listen – life is about not being ready and trying anyway. Remember when you learned to ride your bike? You doubted you’d ever figure if out. But I knew, I believed in you and I pushed you to keep going. Even when you fell.

And well, look at that, that’s life.

Trying, falling, letting go, not being ready. Running and living this life.

So have grace on me. Maybe you can see behind the smile now and can pick out the tears dotting my eyes. They’re there because on that day when you were born almost eighteen years ago I felt like you and I had this giant future spread out in front of us. The days seemed endless and here we are, at the end of this section of endless.

I’m not ready.

I’m not ready, I’m not ready, I’m not ready.

But instead of clinging, instead of holding on, I will breathe deep and I will let you go.

Because that is what we do as moms.

From day one to now.

I’m ready for the next chapter, my sweet child.

But if I get teary, if I cry, if I get sappy….well, it’s because it feels like just yesterday you were in my arms and now there you are, flipping the tassel over, waving at me and my arms are no longer holding you but are waving back at you with pride.

Love you.


ps….this is what happens when one orders her senior in high school daughter’s cap and gown….tears….


3 Responses to “sweet child, I don’t know if I’m ready”

  1. February 19, 2019

    Julie Reply

    Beautiful Rachel! Praying for you as you let go…

  2. February 24, 2019

    Anna Reply

    Same for me, this year my youngest daughter is graduating from high school. We can get through this to the other side where we find joy in their next adventure.

  3. March 8, 2019

    Kevinsnics Reply

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