Thursday, January 14, 2021

Gradual Release in Parenting [SOS: Magic in a Blog]

We spent ten months together and everything felt safe. We sent her to the infant room at daycare for the first time and we worried about many things. It wasn't home. It wasn't us. Naps were flexible. She wasn't a fan of bottle feeding. It all worked out and they loved her. The toddler room, preschool, and private kindergarten were easier - all in the same space. 

We sent her to first grade in the big public school and prayed she had enough independent skills to survive being one in twenty-two let's say. She did and her teacher loved her. Her teacher is my neighbor at school right now and each year reminds me of the story she wrote in first grade about her bunny Patches that was sick.

We sent her to middle school and then high school and she navigated it all much like elementary school. More independence. More responsible. Home each night for dinner and bed.

We sent her to college two hours away and we knew from our oldest daughter we'd all adjust. Texts, FaceTime, and phone calls keep us connected. She embraced her small town school and community. We embraced visits monthly or about every 6 weeks. No more tracking her meals or bedtimes.

We sent her on an airplane during a world wide pandemic and my heart is sad. I've felt this feeling before. It's the same feeling as the time we started in the infant room in a daycare center. 

She had a taxi from her new college waiting for her at the airport. Her apartment had an orchid plant, fruit basket, and croissant waiting for her. A kind gentleman came back with milk and orange juice. The kind gentleman returned again with wifi set up things. A kind lady helped her get her apartment key and shared there are two more international students coming. 

These kind gestures help a worried mama's heart. Paris, I know she will love you - please love her back.


  1. How this pulls at the heart - being a mom and knowing exactly that sad, helpless feeling of a child going beyond the perimeter of one's protection. When my oldest was born, and we were still in the hospital, I was flooded with a fierce desire to shield him from anything that could harm him - whatever might do so would have to take me out first. I think of it as the moment "motherlove" kicked in. It is a powerful force. I am so reminded of it, reading your words. What a lifetime of motherlove you have captured in these lines. Prayers for your peace of heart, her safety, and an amazing time in Paris!

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  3. A mother's heart is forever attached to her child. I have experienced much the same when my son left Missouri to drive to California to begin his life away from me. I think Paris will love your girl. I have such fond memories of Paris from November 2019.