I never knew His love until I knew this love -Sarah Hart

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Baby Steps

I'm realizing that one of the hardest things I'm going to have to learn through being a mom is the ability to let go. Oh sure, I always knew that a mother's job was to equip a child to eventually be on their own but never realized that the process would start so soon . You become a mother and your natural instinct is to love and protect this child fully and completely. In the end, your primary job is to let go. I know all I want to do is to hold Mollie close and NEVER let go. It happens in baby steps. I remember when that ugly, dried up, black remnant of umbilical cord fell off of Mollie one day during a diaper change. A little part of me was sad because that was all that was left of that connection we had. "And so it begins", I thought. "The cord is officially gone and you're one step closer to not needing me". She can't stay tethered to me forever as much as I wish she could....baby steps.

Mollie started out life sleeping in our room. She slept in a little bed right next to my side of the bed. I loved it! I could look over and check on her at night anytime I wanted to. Eventually I knew she needed to start sleeping in her own room. I said it would be when she started sleeping through the night. She started that by 8 weeks so I wasn't ready yet. Then around 4 months of age I still hadn't moved her. Every time I started to I would cry and couldn't go through with it. So one night I moved her bed to the other corner of the room and decided that was far enough...baby steps. I did eventually go through with it when she was 5 months of age. She of course didn't even notice. I of course cried but I knew it had to be done for her sake.

Since I've had the luxury of not going back to work and staying home with Mollie I haven't been forced to leave her so I'm having to actually force myself to leave so she can get used to being without mommy sometimes. I've had a hard time bringing myself to leave her with anyone for any length of time. I didn't realized this would be so difficult. However, Mollie has been spending a lot more time with her daddy lately. It's been great for their relationship and good for me too. I'm realizing that even when we're apart, Mollie will be just fine. I do need time to myself just as she needs time to grow away from mommy but it's always so hard for me to do. I've only ever left her with daddy and then only for a few hours....more baby steps.

I rock her to sleep at night grateful for this time in our lives together when I can have so much of her to myself. We snuggle in bed together every morning, I rock her every night before bed, we play together all day long and I just soak it in. All too soon she's going to want to walk everywhere instead of wanting me to carry her. I'll be taking her for her first day of school, letting her stay all night at a friend's house, dropping her off at college, watching her walk down the aisle on her wedding day. Through it all I'll be letting just a little bit more of my heart go. But I'm getting ahead of myself. I don't have to do it all today. Baby steps.

We have a little robin who has built a nest under our carport for the third year in a row this year. Every year I watch her build it and not long after, I see little baby bird heads poking out waiting to be fed. I've never seen the part where she kicks them out of the nest though. I just come home one day and the nest is empty. I wonder if it's hard for her, if it makes her sad. I'm so glad that God didn't make humans that way. Imagine giving birth to a child you carry for nine months only to send them off to college a month later! He let's us take our time. Through each step along the way we learn to let go a little more until one day our children are grown and ready to be out on their own and we are (hopefully) ready to handle it. Lucky for me Mollie is asleep in her crib right now. I still have tomorrow and the next day and the next and many more after that before I have to worry about her leaving the nest. Her biggest hurdle right now is learning to crawl! Then she'll really be on the move and all by herself at that! Ahhh....deep breath.........baby steps!