Moms Columns & Blogs

Letting Go?

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The hostility between John and Grace hangs heavy in the air, swirling around us and threatening to snuff out any spark of hope…  Can visitors feel this when they step across our threshold?  Do toxic plumes escape, unleashed accidentally every time we leave?  Maybe…  

The point of contention continues to be control.  Her wanting more of it.  Him demanding most of it.  Them failing to compromise over it.  She’s headstrong.  He’s afraid.  They are like a pair of stubborn old mules, each refusing to consider the other point of view.  I’m the unwilling referee, but someone has to show some sense around here…  

I’m positive every family struggles with the ‘letting go’ process in some capacity.  Last spring I had a conversation about this very thing with some friends…  We were heading to a night match at Jeff Adams Tennis Center, debating the transition from parenting kids in high school to ones in college.  Two felt it was going to be very difficult; they were already anxious and grieving their diminished nest.  The other friend expressed relief at having her child out from under her roof, sort of an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ respite.  I felt certain I would celebrate each departure, and happily embrace this next chapter in our lives.  Little did I know we would confront ‘letting go’ in the most extreme manner possible…  

Which is what makes this contest of wills so hard to negotiate; I understand both positions.  Grace fails to see the noose of fear wound tightly around our necks.  It is no exaggeration to say John would prefer to lock both her and her sister in their rooms for the next decade, complete with windows boarded over and sharp edges covered in bubble wrap…  John pays no mind to Grace’s desperate desire for normal teenage experiences.  She adamantly refuses to allow him to ‘punish’ her for Brian’s mistake by setting ‘unreasonable’ limits.  Grace needs to realize this isn’t about power, it’s about protection.  John has to recognize he cannot protect her forever; he has to let her live.  True, Grace is not Brian, but John is not the same daddy.  We take a leap of faith every time the girls leave our sight; they earn incremental trust each time they honor our house rules.  Thank goodness Beth understands our newfound fear factor and doesn’t try to up the ante on us all the time as well…  

I suppose we are doing the best we can under the circumstances…the hard part is figuring out how to rise above them.  Being fearless is far easier said than done…

Wishing you hope…TG  

Tammy will update her blog on Mondays and Thursdays.  -- Jen, site administrator  

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