This week’s theme is letting go.
When he started eating two to three apples a day, I figured it was time to take him to an orchard.
Earlier this week, I included this image of my 13 year old son picking apples in my post Autumn’s Promise. He is the youngest of my four sons, my baby, and I admit I’m rather attached to him. With three grown and two flown, I know full well how quickly time passes, and I find myself cherishing things that used to annoy me with my older boys.
Things like leaving his dirty socks all over the house and dirty dishes in his bedroom after being told not to eat in there. Catching him playing video games after the allotted time frame has passed. Waiting until the last minute to tell me he needs something critical for school. Forgetting to take out the garbage, forcing my husband to throw trash bags in the back of his truck and find a dumpster to illegally dump them in because our can is too full.
With my older sons, I used to be after them for such atrocities. My heart is just not in it to do so with my youngest. Now, I see the dirty socks and plates as evidence that a precious boy lives in our house. I know he won’t grow up to be a sociopath because he plays video games, and isn’t it typical of children to push the limits? I feign exasperation over the last minute requests because he does need to learn that advanced notice is important, but how blessed am I to have this boy who still needs me? The garbage thing is annoying, but I also secretly find it amusing how exasperated it makes my husband. Though perhaps he, too, is faking it.
He is the most independent of my sons, maybe because he is the only one I raised while also working full-time. Last year I traveled abroad extensively, both for work and pleasure, and returned to a boy who cooks his own meals, washes his own laundry, and cleans his own room. He even washes his own sheets and makes his bed. I didn’t ask him or teach him to do any of this.
I feel a tugging at my heart as I write this, and whenever I think of him being so independent. I know it’s healthy and what every parent should want for their child. Being older and having a busy career, it’s a blessing really. Yet, I can’t help but wonder if through his independence, he is slowly doing the letting go for me.
Excerpt from On Children by Kahlil Gibran
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you.
And though they are with you, they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts.
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
Which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
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