This week, I watched our youngest son play his last high school tennis game. Three children. Five sports. Countless games. And that was the last one.
Next week, he’ll graduate from high school and this summer he’ll ship out for Navy boot camp. This is what we raised him for—to become a productive and upstanding member of society. This is what’s best for him—to become mature and independent.
But it requires letting go. It means I won’t see his smile and hear his voice every day. It means his peaceful, funny presence will be missing in our home. It means we’ll look for a table for two at a restaurant rather than a table for five.
The entire process of raising a child is one long sequence of letting go. From that first painful push into light and air when we say, “Now you have to breathe on your own,” we let go and move them toward independence. We teach them to feed themselves and dress themselves. We teach them to read and to cross a street and to drive. We celebrate each success and grieve a little at what we’ve lost—the nursing baby, a chubby little hand in ours, soccer goals and dirty jerseys.
My son is leaving home, but I am glad. Only when I let go can he set sail.
Sarah Sundin is the author of eight historical novels, including Anchor in the Storm. Her novella in Where Treetops Glisten was a 2015 Carol Award finalist. A mother of three, Sarah lives in California, and works on-call as a hospital pharmacist. Please visit her at www.sarahsundin.com, facebook.com/SarahSundinAuthor, and twitter.com/sarahsundin.