The boy who didn’t give a care in the world for trucks when he was little came home from his really grown-up job and told me that he was driving a cement truck that day on the highway. My heart skipped a little beat because when was a little boy allowed to go and do such big things? Who decides that a man-child who still can’t remember to bring up his dishes from the basement, can drive a scary truck full of liquid rock?
This mama just can’t wrap her brain around it all.
The shy little girl gets on a plane with her fancy suitcase and heads to another country, outside the safety of our cozy walls. To watch fireworks without my hand in hers and to make memories that won’t include her family of which most of her memories are made. But off she goes, with a wave from the bus window and I wipe away my tears because when did she get so brave? I hold my breath for a week and she comes home with smiles and stories, and I squeeze her extra-tight because I can see that she’s spread her wings. I take a step back because I know a little grown-up girl needs space to keep finding out who she is and permission to dream about what she is going to be.
We do our family hug at night, and I pretend the world is suddenly frozen and we are captured in this moment forever.
This mama’s heart just wants to hold on.
This mama’s heart has to work hard to let go.
They have something the world needs from them.
I know this.
I have to share.
I can’t hold them back.
Lately though, all I can think of are popsicle drips and long summer days that I thought might never end, where I likely raised my voice too much and complained loudly about the mud and the mess and didn’t want to go to the pool because I didn’t like how I looked. I know I muttered under my breath and wished for time by myself with no cares in the world.
I long for those days.
I’d smile at the popsicle stains on the white shirts.
I’d cuddle into the sweaty little heads.
I’d jump in that pool.
I wouldn’t rush them into bed.
I’d read one more story.
I’d hold on as long as I could.
Those were the days of heart growing. Those were the days when little lives looked up with wide-eyes, waiting for voices to speak into their soul and tell them who they could be, and that they were so loved, and that there was nothing they couldn’t do.
Those were the days.
And I loved those days.
Now, we have these days.
These days are the sum total of all the days past. Instead of growing, the days feel like they are getting shorter and I never liked subtraction.
These are the days of releasing. The pride of seeing who they are, alongside the small ache deep down in the heart knowing that they won’t always just be yours.
Understanding that the best thing for them, is not always to belong only to you. And my mama heart is a little lost as I try to figure where I belong in life now, since I’m not a main character on their centre stage anymore. I see if I can make friends, and I think I can maybe date my husband more and it’s like this whole new world that’s a little nice and a little sad all at once. I don’t leap into it, I just take it slowly so I can still hold on.
I know that what will always keep us together is this love that we’ve grown with.
I know we will always hold on, even as we let go.
Then I saw a picture my friend posted of a little kiddie pool, with everyone crammed in, freezies dripping and water splashing.
My heart jumped.
“THESE ARE YOUR BEST DAYS!” I exclaimed to her picture.
And they are.
And the days will keep getting better as you watch little boys grow up and drive trucks, and little girls play in their band and laugh with friends.
All the days are the best days.
All the days are the hard days.
All the days are about letting go.
The days with popsicles dripping down little chins.
The days with a quick good-bye where you’re left behind.
All the days are the best days.