Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Learning to Let Go

Any moment everything can change
Feel the wind on your shoulder
For a minute all the world can wait
Let go of your yesterday

Can you hear it calling?
Can you feel it in your soul?
Can you trust it's longing
And take control?

Fly, open up the part of you that wants to hide away
And you can shine, forget about the reasons
Why you can't in life and start to try
'Cause it's your time, time to fly

FLY by Kara Dioguardi & John Shanks

When Nik was born —so early, so fragile and vulnerable —I feel like I was reborn, too.  Everything I thought I knew about who I was and what was important changed in a thready heartbeat; my life became completely enmeshed with his.  I have been the center of his universe, and he mine, from the moment he arrived.

After nearly seven very intense years, it feels like we are both moving into a new period.  Nik has shown that he is finally ready for school and we are both, admittedly, ready for a bit of a break from each other.  We’ve moved out of the realm of medical crises (I hope!) and are ready for the business of learning and growing to commence in earnest. 

It’s not as easy as I thought it would be.

I confess, each day when I drop him off at school with his too-big backpack and his “talker” (speech generating device) I have more than a few moments of panic.  My heart races as I wonder who will make sure my too-thin child eats enough or my fearless boy won’t run head-first into concrete walls.  Who will help him weather the sensory storms which still cause him to drop to his knees and gouge at his face and neck?  Who will help him learn to navigate the seas of building relationships with peers who may mimic and mock?  Who will understand him if his talker breaks?

It’s not easy for either of us, but I know that he needs this struggle as much as I do.  We need to grow stronger apart from each other.  He needs to begin to make his way through a world which won’t always include his Mama and I need to let go, just a little, so I can find parts of myself I’ve either let languish or have not yet discovered.

 We are blessed to have a team of people working with and for our son to find the right supports, the right placement, the right methods to help him express the knowledge he has inside his wordless self.  It is the confidence in that team which gives me the strength to let go, no matter how small the increments may be.  It is that which allows me to sit at my dining room table putting words out into the ether while he is at school.  

It is a gift I don’t take lightly.  I hope it will give us both wings.



  1. Beautiful. I have so missed hearing your voice. I hope that school is going well and you are remembering to breathe while he is there. xoxo

  2. that was lovely. I felt your angst and your joy. You are an amazing mom.

  3. It WILL. You will both grow, and hopefully it will get easier and easier.

  4. You are my hero....and not in the silly cliche way Beth. In a very real heartwarming and inspiring way.

  5. Tough times for you. You are dealing with feelings and anxieties that many parents don't even face until college and you must do so with greater intensity and greater fear. As usual, you write about it with grace.

  6. YAY! i am thrilled for both of you! and i have no doubt that you will both take flight!

  7. It's hard to let go of that control and it's doubly hard when there are extra factors at play. I am confident that both of you will flourish.

  8. It's hard. It's SO hard to trust that other people will understand your child, care about him - DELIGHT in him the way they should. I hope you find, as I have, that sometimes other people can bring things to your boy's life that you, as his mom, simply can't. It really does take a village. I'm so glad you've found a good one.

  9. Wow! I can' believe that this is what you are writing about! Weirdly, coincidentally, I just wrote a post about my sweet girl spreading her wings (not to mention seeing a bird man feed a dead mouse to an owl). Then answered your comment. And then came here! Can't believe how much we are on the same page! It feels weird to let them go, but that's the thing, they do have wings.

  10. May Nik have a wonderful year, and may you breath into that discovery/rediscovery of yourself.