Letting Go

It’s not easy.

To let go, that is.

You know that movie from the 90’s about the wolf and the boy and their adventures in the wild?

What’s that called?

Oh wait…there are like a MILLION of those movies so if you’ve seen one you’ve seen them all and it’s really not important that I take time to figure out the title because…let’s face it…who cares.

Anyway, you know that movie? And the end where the boy tells the wolf, “You’re not meant to be with me. You’re meant to run free and wild in the nature. Run, Boy! Run!”

And then the wolf pouts and leaves forlorn only to return when the boy is in serious danger from some evil oiler or something…

I never understood why the wolf had to leave.

I was that girl in the theatre asking her brother, “but WwwwhyYYYyyy does he have to go?! It’s not Faaiiirr!”

“Shut up, Val. I don’t know. Alright?”

The truth is none of us know…it’s just a tricky plot device that makes us feel something when it appears that all hope is lost.

Clare is smart but, even as her mother, I have to admit that she does not yet know everything. She’s very observant and brilliantly aware of her surroundings but she has trouble grabbing things sometimes, she thinks it’s ok to be naked when it’s 19 degrees outside and she gets frustrated when she can’t do something.

Often I can see her face fused in concentration as she tries with all her heart to accomplish something she has her mind set on doing.

It doesn’t work all the time and it’s usually here that she lets out a huge grunt or screech.

Recently I had her in her high chair (yeah. I don’t care that it might be too early. I told you she’s advanced didn’t I?). I had toys piled on so she could choose which one she wanted to bite and drool on. I could see her eyes select the item she wanted to devour or at least lick but as she went to lift her arm she found it impossible to do so.

She was holding on to her sweater and could not let go. I could see her agony building.

“Just let go of it Larry. You need that hand to grab your toy.”

Nope. She wouldn’t let go.  Even as I went to pull her hand off her sweater she would cling to it and used her baby death grip to keep her hand on her bright pink sweater and away from enjoyment.

When I turned into a mother…the minute Clare was born…I started to worry.

What if she dies…in a hundred different ways.

For example: We had a weird mold episode happen in our basement this last summer when I was pregnant with Clare. Andrew had recently been recalling the event to me to provoke some sort of laughter. I stood there open mouthed.  My mind started to crank – the mom worry brain.  What if I gave her mold exposure in the womb? What if she is stupid because our basement was humid for a weekend and she died from being stupid and I lost her.

Suddenly my life turned (s) into a Hallmark movie where everyone gets cancer and everyone is weeping all the time. “OH! CLARE! WHAT HAVE I DONE?! First you then your father dies tragically in a motorcycle accident and then on top of all that coffee is made an illegal substance and our tv breaks. What shall I ever DOoooo! All because of the mold! ”

I don’t know why this happens as a mom.

I thought my own mother was ridiculous when she would freak out after getting a voicemail from me saying I thought I had a brain tumor (total hypochondriac) and then refused to pick up my phone for the next 3 days…

Now I get it.

What I’m realizing now, as Clare struggles to learn to turn over and grab things and skootch forward, is that I can’t be the hand on the sweater so to speak. I can’t continue to hold on to her in the same way while she learns and grows.

At her birth I was totally in charge of everything. But each day I have to let go a little more.  It’s hard.  Harder than I expected.

Somehow I don’t feel that letting go in our real lives is so much a plot device to make us feel as the little boy and the wolf might. But I do think that holding on out of fear or sometimes for no reason at all will always keep us from living FULL and spectacular lives. It’s important to let go.

Here’s to letting go of sweaters and grabbing onto a big fuzzy toy filled life and giving it a big satisfying bite.


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