Leave him.

I see you across the pool from me, momma. Here I sit watching my boys jump off diving boards, swim like fish in the deep end, and run up and down the stairs to those huge water slides over and over again. And there you are. I see you in the shallow end desperately trying to coax your little one to go with the trained lifeguard. You know he needs to learn to swim, but he’s screaming and kicking while desperately holding onto your neck. I see you handing him toys trying to convince him. And I see you. Just you.

You look defeated. Exhausted. But breathtakingly beautiful.

From a momma of middles to a momma of littles, may I give you one piece of advice?

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Leave him.

Yes, you’ll come back. Yes, your heart will feel like it’s being ripped from your chest as you walk away. Yes, you’ll feel like you are abandoning him.

But here’s the thing, momma . . . he’s OK.

Yes, that lifeguard will help him calm down. Yes, he will likely stop crying the minute he can’t see you anymore. And yes, he will get used to it. He will know you’ll come back for him and be oh-so happy to see him. He will run to you after his lesson so very proud of what he did. He won’t be able to contain his excitement and he will want to show you his new skills over and over again.

And before you know it, you’ll be sitting by the deep end watching him swim with his friends. You’ll remember the day he screamed when he didn’t want to leave you for his swim lessons.

And every now and then, he will tell you to watch him jump off the diving board, climb the pool rock wall, go down the fastest slide, and jump in with him.

You’ll remember the little boy, cherish the young man he is now, and look forward to watching him become the strong, independent, and capable man he will be.

You’ve got this momma. Leave him.

Originally published on the author’s page 

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Bailey Koch

The story of Bailey Koch finding her love for and strength in writing begins with near tragedy. In February of 2012, Bailey's husband was nearly killed in a head-on collision with a semi truck. As a method of getting information to friends and family, Bailey began a Caring Bridge page. Immediately, others began commenting that Bailey should be a writer. "Yeah right!" Bailey thought. "There's no way I could do that!" "Never Alone: A Husband and Wife's Journey with Depression and Faith" was published in March 2015 and is written by Jeremy and Bailey Koch. It details their struggles with severe depression and the journey toward understanding their purpose, accepting help, and finding faith. High school sweethearts, Jeremy and Bailey know their lives were meant for each other and to help others by being honest about their story. They are proud parents of two beautiful, and often rambunctious, boys. Hudson and Asher are 10 and 7 years old. You can learn more about their journey and even purchase the eBook or paperback copy of "Never Alone" at www.jeremyandbailey.com. Jeremy and Bailey found their purpose in helping others find hope when suffering from a disability, especially unseen illnesses like depression. Jeremy, who suffers from suicidal thoughts, continues to learn to live, not simply stay alive, through hope from God and the acceptance of help. Bailey is his biggest supporter and left her teaching job, after being in public education for seven years, to focus on what the two know to be God's plan. Bailey now works as a Lecturer in Teacher Education at the University of Nebraska at Kearney and will graduate with her doctoral degree in Special Education from Walden University sometime in 2018. Jeremy and Bailey co-own and operate Natural Escapes, a landscaping and greenhouse services business that also includes a paint your own pottery and canvas family art studio. The passion to advocate for those who can't easily advocate for themselves is strong. Bailey has a message of hope and acceptance for all; she has plans to completely demolish the societal stigma attached to mental illness.