The truth is, we are always letting go.
From the moment our children are born, we begin the process of introducing them to our world and showing them the way, opening our arms and putting them down so that they may realize an independence that will take them places we couldn’t even begin to imagine.
But to get them there, we must start by letting go.
And that is so hard for me.
Right now, I have a newborn baby who is warm and safe in my arms, his gaze intent on me. And that feels right and secure for the both of us, but I know how finite these moments are. I know that every time I lay him on the grass to watch his three-year-old brother run wildly around us, he’s growing and learning and falling in love with the vastness above him.
As we all have. And as he will continue to do over and over.
This is how it should be, and the best thing I can do for my son is to foster his exploration in trust, not in fear.
I need to trust my son and his instincts and his desire to learn, even as an infant — especially as an infant — and quiet the fear that comes with rearing children.
Fear only sets us both back, and I know we are better than that. I know my son deserves more.
So I trust him. Each day, I allow my infant to guide us in his play, observing him and responding to his own desires rather than giving him another toy I think is best. In a safe space with me near, I give him autonomy to explore and tinker and greet his environment with curiosity.
And most importantly, I do this on his time. Babies are seemingly set on rigorous schedules, and while I value and respect the schedule my son needs, I know our play time can be free — free from my rule or choice and devout only to his interest and zeal.
And he will always surprise me. He will play longer and more peacefully when the freedom is his to own, and he will be happy.
Indeed, we are always letting go, watching our children grow way too fast before our very eyes, but when we trust them — when we love them and respect them and smile as they discover another something new — we don’t feel any fear.
We feel joy.
About the Author
Angela Tewalt is a writer, storyteller and mother to two boys. She shares parenting stories and inspiration in Guidepost Parent.
Recommended for you: