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Archive for January 29th, 2010

Letting Go

Tomorrow morning I am doing something I have dreaded for years.  I am driving my son to the Department of Motor Vehicles to get his driver’s permit.  For years I looked at this day as the beginning of his driving awayfrom me.  I worried that it would be hard to see him growing up.  Instead I have come to realize that I have spent his whole life helping him to have a happy life.  I have spent every day guiding him and watching him become the young man that he is.  It’s funny the things we will do for our children and how simple it all begins.

When my son was just over two months old, we were having a lazy morning in bed, when I lifted him up above my face and wiggled his tiny little body and he laughed.  It was the first time he had laughed.  It was such an unexpected sound I almost dropped him.  After I recovered from the shock, I spent the rest of the day trying to get him to do it again.  When he did, it was the best sound I had ever heard.  But it was more than that.  Babies amaze me.  They don’t laugh with just their voices and their facial expressions.  They laugh with their whole body.  I can picture the next laughs as clearly as I can anything in this room right now.  He was lying in his baby bath, butt naked and his whole body exploded with each burst of laughter.

Before that day, I knew how much I loved him and in theory I knew I would do anything for this tiny baby from the moment he was born but until that day, I didn’t realize that that anything extended to shaking my head vigorously to and fro, over and over again just to watch him laugh.  My head ached for days but it didn’t matter if that is what it took to make him happy.

So, he is growing up.  He is becoming more and more independent.  And instead of dreading each step, I have started looking for ways to help him to enjoy each moment.  Instead of worrying about him driving away from me, I now look forward to the hours we will be spending in the car over the next few months while he learns to drive.  I know this means he will one day drive away from me and find his own life somewhere else but now I am excited by the prospects.  I look forward to watching what was my happy baby become a happy young man.

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