Parenting

It’s Happening. I’m Losing Him.

“Motherhood: The days are long, but the years are short.” ~Gretchen Rubin

There’s something bittersweet about watching your children grow into adults before your very eyes. Watching them go from crawling to walking to running; from tricycles to bicycles to cars. It’s beautiful seeing your babies blossom into the amazing humans you always knew they could be…but with each incremental step, it seems they’re slipping through your fingers faster and faster, as their newly learned modes of transportation are marked by progressing speed. Speed, in the opposite direction of you.

The days filled with dirty diapers, spaghetti-stained carpets and grocery-store meltdowns can seem tireless and endless.

But oh, how those years can fly…

Nobody knows this paradoxical truth better than Quin, a sweet mother who aims to use her love for Jesus to find humor, heart & faith in all things motherhood.

In a vulnerable Facebook post on her page Sanctification and Spitup, Quin opens a window into her bleeding mother’s heart as her son makes a small step from boyhood into manhood. Her tearful words encapsulate one picturesque snapshot of the equal pride & pain that washes over a woman watching her baby grow up, and her story is now gripping the hearts of thousands of moms across the web:

His question was simple. There was nothing bad about it.

“Mom, guess what?! I found out I am old enough to go to camp this summer! Can I? I get to leave town and be gone for four days and three nights.”

I literally had to look away. Tears welled in my eyes.

“Mom, you aren’t answering. Do you think I can go?”

Continued silence from me as I tried to swallow a lump in my throat.

“Sure. I can talk to your dad.”

I find myself not wanting to make eye contact with my own son.

As he walks away, I am relieved. Yet as our distance increases, I can almost feel my influence on him slipping away to his peers. He’s such a good kid. I think to myself.

But am I ready? Are we already at the point where he’s not worried about me tucking him in? Or his snuggle blanket? Or his kiss goodnight?

Am I ready to see my son become a young man? A young man who is perfectly okay to leave home and not be sad. He doesn’t want to sleep in my bed anymore. The beds at camp would be so much cooler anyway. And they probably are.

How absolutely appropriate.
How absolutely exciting to see him grow.
Yet strangely. I feel a pit in my stomach.

It’s happening. I’m losing him. In the way that I should lose him. He’s growing. And I can’t stop it. Nor should I want to.

More tears.

At bedtime he asks again about camp. I tell him I think it’s okay, but it makes me feel sad.

Then he tenderly looks at me and says, “If it makes you sad, then I won’t go.”

Then my heart broke. Because I knew what him saying that meant.

He’s old enough to go. 💙 And ready or not, here he comes.

Thank you Lord for the gift you’ve given me of my precious children. May I never take for granted the power or influence I have over them in the years they are home. And never forget how short those years are—especially on the long days. May I use my time and influence to point them back to YOU. 💓

“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” ~Proverbs 22:6

Kelsey Straeter
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Kelsey is an editor at Outreach. She’s passionate about fear fighting, freedom writing, and the pursuit of excellence in the name of crucifying perfectionism. Glitter is her favorite color, 2nd only to pink, and 3rd only to pink glitter.

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