As I pulled up to the car pool line I passed the neighbor’s car as she finished dropping off and headed back home. We gave a quick wave and went on our way.
I dropped Jackson off and watched as he slowly made his way into school without a care in the world. And just when I thought he had long forgotten about me he turned around, cracked a smile and waved. I shed a few tears as I drove off, and reminded myself that letting him go and grow is a good thing! It’s out of my comfort zone at times which can be scary, but it’s good for him, for me, for us.
A few minutes later a text popped up on my cell phone. It was from my neighbor.
“Sometimes I get teary eyed dropping off the kids at school and thinking of Newtown”
“Me too” I replied. Me too.
The past months since the Newtown tragedy have been filled with lots of life. Holiday celebrations, time with family, sickness. Life has gone on in so many ways. But there are the moments of glancing back as Jackson walks into the school after I drop him off and the times when my husband is downtown and I wonder what it would be like if there was another crisis and he is so far from home. If I allow it, the fear of the unknown (and sometimes the known) can overwhelm me. It’s tempting to want to hunker down and keep everyone in the nest. But what good are we when we aren’t available to others and when we aren’t present to learn from others?
The world is a wonderful place, but it is also a dark place. Not only are we people living in a broken world, we are moms of little precious people living in this world. The quote from Elizabeth Stone comes to mind,
“Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”
And while the Type A, controlling part of me would love to think I can have a child and guard my heart, that just isn’t how motherhood works. School drop off can be a test of letting my heart go freely so that my boy can learn and grow!
The Newtown tragedy might not be one that shook your family this year. There might be another one closer to home. No matter where you are on the globe you will be faced with fears, sometimes just fear of your own failures, sometimes fear of tangible dangers. But rather than hunker down and stay in our nest we must do as the verse of this song suggests.
“Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.”
World Moms Blog is a unique community in which even though we come from all corners of the globe where our daily trials vary vastly, the cracks are there. There are many “me too’s” echoed on the posts of moms around the world. We can relate to one another’s joys and triumphs. We need one another in order to carry on doing good and ringing the bells, so to speak. In the face of fear, or sadness, or grief, or simply the fear of failure we need one another to help pick up the bells and keep the song going.
Allow the light to get into the cracks of your life today! Don’t allow an imperfect offering to hold you back. And for goodness sakes, don’t try to hide the cracks. Step out and allow your weaknesses to be strengthened by the light of those around you.
As a parent, have there been times when you have struggled to let go of your children? Have there been times when fears have gotten in the way of you being free to do good for those around you?
This post is an original post written by Kristen Kolb for World Moms Blog. You can find Kristen blogging over at www.seasonsworthsavoring.com.
Photo credit to the author.
You are so right, especially about “letting our hearts go walking outside our bodies” when we are mothers!
My children are practically “all grown up” and I’m looking at the reality of “empty nest” in the not-too-distant future (my son is 20 and my daughter is 17 years old). I’m very proud of the fact that (for the most part) I have managed to NOT let my fears hold back my children.
The hardest test for me was to let them use matches and lighters when they were old enough to. I have a phobia of getting burnt. It’s severe enough to make it IMPOSSIBLE for me to strike a match (or use a lighter) to light a candle, without having a full-on panic attack! Logically, I know there’s no real danger, but phobias are not logical. I think my children started lighting their own birthday candles from when they were about 8 years old. I was both petrified and proud every time they pulled it off without incident!! When they were old enough to understand about irrational fears, I explained to them why I couldn’t be the one to light the candles. They’ve been very understanding and supportive. 🙂
Thank you for being so inspirational! Love the quote. Way to be brave!
You’re so right: Feel the fear, but do it anyway!
I really enjoyed this post. 😀
Beautiful post, Thanks for the lyrics about the cracks letting the light in, what a lovely sentiment!
Wonderful post Kristen. When he was about 4 or 5, my son used to be afraid to walk from the car to the front door of our apt building (about 10 feet across) without holding my hand. We had put the fear of kidnapping and strangers into him. We had to re-teach him that as long as he stays next to us and is within sight it is ok. I guess in trying to teach him to always hold our hand outside we had inadvertantly created an irrational fear. Now that I have let go a bit, he proudly rides his scooter or bike down the sidewalk ahead of us, and has grown much more independent. 🙂
My children have not yet reached the age of going to school or even pre-school.
At some point I want them to go. Go and explore. Go and learn. Go and make friends. Go and hava a life.
Even if I wanted I know I won’t be able to keep them under my protecive wings for my entire life. My parents tried to do it too me and it didn’t end up too good.
Loved the quote Kristen: “Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” SO true!! I do try to let my girls go and explore, but it’s not always easy…especially after incidents like Newtown.
I know exactly how you feel. Every time I drop Evan off I’m not concerned about a Newton-like incident happening but I am scared that he might play too hard and break a bone in a place where medical care is very unreliable, or that his little preeschool becomes unreachable because of the floods. Letting go is hard to do but we have to let our kids shine their lights, too.