The story isn’t often about the picture, although the launch point for me always is. Today we start with lots of different pictures. Some are of the twins that live with me, many years ago. Some are of my daughter. There is one of my mother and I. There is one of my wife and her daughter. Mothers are interesting creatures. It is not a job you would sign up for, full of change and all sorts of hard things. There comes a time when you have to let go. That, you know your child has to go on their own. You wish. To send off into the world wrapped in bubble wrap. Protected from everything the world can throw at them but that isn’t realistic, is it?
The world will impact your children as you struggle to prevent that. It isn’t that the world is cruel. It is that life continues even sometimes as we grasp life itself with fingers tight. You know, when you are holding tight. It is the moment that you let go that suddenly realize your child is grown. I know as a dad that letting go is incredibly hard, but rewarding. As a parent, there is that intake of breath, that fear as you let go. Will my child be ok? Will they reach their goals? In the song Allentown Billy Joel talks about “the dream,” the dream of the children of steels in Allentown Pennsylvania was to get, at least as far as their old many got. To at least do as well as dad or mom did.
But that isn’t a fair dream for children. Children have to be free of parents dreams. They have to live the life they choose. That is the letting go. The twins came to this world more than 21 years ago now. Over the last couple of years, I find myself able to let go more and more. I no longer feel the need to micro-manage to talk AT the twins. We, the twins, discussed that on our walk yesterday. Talking at people isn’t good, ever. When one person doesn’t respond in a conversation, it doesn’t bode well. But parents often have to do that, to talk At their children. The teachable moments that don’t require the child to respond. You when a parent talks AT their child it is a one-way conversation.