Rounding Corners

I had a moment recently.  For me, a “moment” is a moment in time, when I am given the gift of taking in what’s happening as it’s happening.  When my circumstances stand still and I’m struck with some kind of reality or insight.  When I’m able to step outside the immediate moment and see a bigger picture.

My moment came while walking home from the park with my two boys.  I was holding Brennan’s hand.  His little palm tightly gripped my pinky finger as we walked along.  Micah ~ big boy that he is ~ was ahead of us on his bike. 

“Can I go?” Micah yelled to me.  He was a half a block ahead of us.  He was wanting to cross the street to the left, without having to wait for me (which was the standing rule).  Normally, I would say no and have him wait for me.  He’s six now and he’s been begging me to let him cross streets without having to wait for me.  We’re only two blocks from home, it’s not a busy street, and I can still see him (and see that there are no cars coming).  So I say “yes.”  Off he went.

Suddenly, I realize he is out of sight.  I hadn’t thought ahead to the fact that once he crossed the street, he would soon be out of sight.  I pick up my pace.  The logical side of me tells me that he will be fine.  We’re in our neighborhood.  He knows to stay on the sidewalk.  Nothing is going to happen.

The illogical, mothering side of me (the one that wants to keep each child as close by my side as long as possible) is worried.  What if someone takes him?  What if he decides to ride in the street?  What if something happens?  These are really just fleeting thoughts…I know he’s fine.  I just want to keep him close, that’s all.

That’s when my moment came.  I have to let Micah, and all my children, round corners.  Slip out of sight occasionally.  This literal slipping out of sight, is only the beginning of slowly letting go.  Slowly loosening my grip.  That’s actually my job. 

In fact, in that very moment in time there was something related to each of my three children that represented this growing up and letting go idea.  Little Brennan, though holding my hand at my side, had made a step toward independence that very day.  He was wearing underwear.  My baby, on the verge of being a big boy. 

Kiersten was not even with us on this outing because of a major step in loosening my grip.  She was at camp.  It was Day Camp, but camp none-the-less.  In fact, just the night before she had spent the night.  Camp had an optional overnight on Thursday, and Kiersten (with our permission…and blessing) had chosen to stay all night.  My heart ached just a little as we drove away and I realized that it would be nineteen hours (who’s counting?) before I’d see her again.  At the same time, I was excited for her and the fun I knew she was going to have.

A three-year-old by my side, still holding my hand.  But wearing underwear.  A six-year-old out of sight because he had crossed the street and rounded a corner ~ all by himself.  An eight-year-old away at camp, spending the night at a place she had never been and with people she hadn’t known just one week earlier.

My children are rounding corners…and it’s my job to let them.  As much as I want to always keep them in sight…I can’t.  Slowly, ever so slowly (although at times it seems way too quickly!), my children are growing up.  One step at a time.   Doing this job called mothering hurts a little sometimes, especially when they’re rounding corners.  Yet, I’d have it no other way. 

As I was having my “rounding corners” moment, a verse came to mind.  It’s the verse that gave me comfort on Kiersten’s first day of kindergarten, three years ago.  My first BIG “loosening-my-grip” experience.  It has become my prayer for my children:

The Lord watches over you…the Lord will keep you from all harm ~ he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going, both now and forevermore.”   Psalm 121:5, 7-8

Loosening my grip and letting my children round corners without me is much easier when I remember that they are always in His grip, they never round corners that take them out of His sight, and He does and will watch over all of their comings and goings, both now and forevermore.  Even (and especially) when I can’t.

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5 Responses to Rounding Corners

  1. miriam rockness says:

    I love the metaphor (is that what it is?!) of “rounding the corner.” As the mother of 3 adults children (one being you) I can relate to so many “rounding the corner” moments. And, guess what? We do survive. Well, our children do – it is a bit harder for the parent!

    • I do look back, quite frequently, now that I’m a mother, on numerous experiences where you had to let us “round the corner” or “loosen your grip.” At the time I had no idea what a step of faith it must have been for you and Dad. Even most recently with Kiersten going to YMCA Day Camp. I have memories of going when we lived in the “old house,” which meant I was younger than Kiersten currently is! I now have a whole new perspective. And you’ve been a great role model (knowing I went to Day Camp younger than Kiersten helped me be okay with letting her go now!). Thanks for letting me/us round corners! 🙂

  2. Beautifully written, Kim. What a great phrase – “rounding the corner”. I can relate to this story on so many levels as I watch my own babes “round corners” and while I know this is what is supposed to happen, it does sadden my heart a bit to see them starting to sprout their wings. I’m thrilled that they are because you are correct – that is our job. But I also watch with the memory of their birth, the sleepless night of rocking them to sleep, their first ear infection, their baby giggle, their games of peek-a-boo. As that chapter closes, I look forward to the next with anticipation and look behind with bittersweet happiness that God has chosen me to mother these precious beings. Thanks for putting into words what I have so often felt! Loved reading the comments between your mom and you as well! 🙂

  3. Tracy says:

    This is just beautiful. What a precious picture of life changing. He watches it all, the coming and the going. Oh, the things that He has protected me from! Beautiful post.

    Blessings.

    • Hi Tracy ~ Thanks for stopping by my blog AND posting a comment! It is so thrilling and rewarding to know that people are reading my words!. I headed over to your blog and have spent the last 15 minutes or so perusing it and enjoying “getting to know you” a bit! You have some wonderful posts…I so appreciate your heart and your words. Thank you for sharing a piece of yourself and your relationship with God. I love this “new world” of blogging and I look forward to reading more of your blog. Now that summer (and my past crazy month of family time and vacation) is ending, I hope to write a bit more faithfully. Blessings to you!

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