Letting Go of the Baby Birds in Your Nest (Lent, Day 15)

Pretty soon, I will have not one, but two baby birds who have flown the coop.

My son moved into his first apartment as a junior, four and a half hours away from us a couple of years ago.

My daughter, who chose to remain at home freshman and sophomore year, will start her junior year living in a house down the street.

Both goodbyes are equally hard.

My original TeamO

It’s bittersweet to be a mama sometimes.

You spend the earliest part of the parenting journey holding your children closely.

You pull them to your chest as they eat.

You rock them to sleep.

Catch them when they’re learning to walk.

Grab their hand as you cross the street together.

You and your child are intertwined, day in, day out.

Then, slowly, you let go of your child.

You wipe their tears as you leave them in their kindergarten class.

Wave goodbye to them as the bus pulls away for summer camp.

You watch them drive away in their first car.

You wipe your own tears as they receive their diploma.

The day eventually comes when they leave home.

And while they may return periodically, you know your family dynamic will never be the same.

Life changes.

I heard someone say once that change is really nothing more than an education in how to die well.

Really, all of life is teaching us how to deal with change.

Some people love adventure and crave the unknown.

They despise the monotony of a routine.

But even the biggest thrill-seekers will have their world rocked by change at some point.

Maybe it’s the death of a parent, the loss of a job, or the shock of a divorce.

Change might involve dealing with a new world amid an ever-changing pandemic.

Or realizing that what you once thought you believed, you no longer believe. A death of who you thought you were, I guess.

When we get married, we die to self. We put away thinking only of ourselves to make room for our spouse’s wants and needs.

And when we become parents, we sacrifice controlling the outcome of a part of our own spirit. There is a living being, walking around outside of our body, who is a piece of us in some way, shape or form.

We literally sacrifice the urge to control a piece of our own life, even though we’d been in control for such a long time.

You know, if you think about it, eighteen summers is a pretty short time.

That’s it, really. That’s what you get as a mama or daddy. The standard eighteen years.

They leave for college, and, even if you see them frequently, control the purse strings, and make certain decisions, you don’t hold the clout you once did.

If you’re lucky and you’ve done your job well, your children will want to see you. They’ll seek your company and need your advice.

Maybe not at first. Remember, you, too, were once a young adult trying to prove yourself.

You don’t realize these are the best days…

But give it a few years. There will come a time, maybe years after they’ve left home, when your child will come to you, needing you to parent once again.

And when they look into your eyes, you will see that same small child you raised.

The one whose tears you wiped, hands you held, cheek you kissed goodnight.

And you will realize that while life has changed, a parent is a parent forever.

See you soon,


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