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“I want you to know that you can live anywhere you want when you grow up. You don’t need to live in this area.” 

My 7- and 8-year-old daughters were sitting in the backseat of the car as we drove to visit with family. Somehow, we landed on the topic of living in other places.

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My 8-year-old started naming other states that interested her. Kentucky. Alaska. Wyoming. “Mom, I might live in Kentucky.”

“If you want to try living there, I think you should go for it.” 

I want it to be very clear to my kids that they have the freedom to leave the nest.

I want them to spread their wings and fly because I know they’ll do mighty things. I’ll miss them like crazy, and I’ll wish they were closer, but I’ll be so proud of them for taking that leap of faith and moving to a new place for the next chapter of their lives.

I never had that freedom. I never had that encouragement. I never had that support to leave the area where I was raised. For the longest time, all of my extended family lived within 20 minutes of each other–and both my parents have three siblings. 

It was expected that I stayed. It was expected that I made certain choices to please my parents. It was expected that I fit the mold they wanted for me.

I will not do that to my children.

I will not keep them stuck in a box.

I will not clip their wings because I know what results from that, and I will not do that to my kids. 

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I will make it clear to them that I support all the wonderful (and sometimes scary things) they want to pursue because I know how heartbreaking it is to be in your 30s and feel like your parents held you back as a child.

I won’t do that to my kids. 

They were made for bigger things than anything I could ever want. They were made to fly, and I will be the mom who cheers them on so they can soar!

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