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How do I let you go?

When I look at you and still see the sweet baby we brought home from the hospital. We were so clueless about what we were getting into and also so awed by every bit of you we couldn’t take our eyes away. You made our world so much bigger and yet you were small enough to fit perfectly in our arms.

When I still see the outline of that sweet four-year-old girl who dressed up each day as a princess and imagined the world at her fingertips. The day you would go out into that world felt so blissfully far away so imagining right along with you didn’t feel a bit scary. And even then I believed with my whole heart you could reach all your dreams.

When I watch you with your hair all pulled back and still see that sweet ballerina all dressed up for her first dance recital. It was the first time you ever wore any makeup and the bit of blush on your soft cheeks and lipstick on your lips gave me a glimpse of the woman you are now. How did you become her so quickly? It takes my breath away.

When I look at you and still see the girl just entering her teens, unsure about how she fits in when everything she knew was changing. There is almost no trace now of the awkward adolescent and you are beginning to understand your place in the world. Oh how you have brought us joy at every stage.

How do I let you go?

When I’m blessed to reach over and hug you close right now, I don’t want to let go. Not even a single bit. Not even when you try to wiggle free from me just as you did when you were so little and ready to jump off my lap and run and play.

How do I let you go?

When I look at you and see you are ready. So ready to move forward wherever life will take you, when I know your dreams will lead you where I won’t always get that front row seat to your big moments.

How do I let you go?

I’m so thankful there is an answer.

I remember God is with you wherever you may travel.

I remember you are not really mine to hold on to.

I remember He loved us both enough to send His only son out into the world.

Good grief, how do I ignore the example He set with that last one? Impossible.

Letting you go is only possible because I know my Heavenly Father is also yours . . . this amazing gift He entrusted to my care for the last 18 years.

For you do not belong to me my dear one. You belong to Him. And you belong in the world.

I’m so lucky I get to be here for all of it. For all you will give to the world and all you have already given. For all you have already given our family.

To God be the glory sweet child of mine. Now go and give the world your gifts. We’ll be right here.

Amen.

Originally published on Hiding in the Closet with Coffee by Amy Betters-Midtvedt

 

You may also like:

Raising a Teenage Girl Is a Thing of Beauty

I’m Learning to Parent My Teens At the Edge

God Gave Me Teenagers

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Amy Betters-Midtvedt

Amy Betters-Midtvedt is a writer, educator, mom of 5 crazy kids, wife to a patient husband, and lover of Jesus. She writes along with her friend and former teaching partner Erin over at Hiding in the Closet With Coffee. Our mission is to help parents find sanity and joy, and we know sometimes joy is found hiding out in the closet with coffee, or hiding out on Facebook — come and join us both! You can read more about us here. You can also find us hiding out over at InstagramPinterest, and Twitter.

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