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Let Go

3adf6-blogeverday Day 30, Thursday: React to this term: Letting Go

In the Broadway production of The Little Mermaid, at the very end, just before King Triton turns Ariel human, father and daughter have  moment. Ariel apologizes for, well, basically the entire musical.

“I’ve cause you so much trouble. Can you ever forgive?”

And King Triton replies, “why, I’ve never been prouder. In the blink of an eye, while my back was turned, you grew up.”

And then he begins to sing and my sentimental, foolish soul just about loses it. every. single. time.

If only you could stay and never say good bye,

If only I could make time stop,

Believe me, I would try.

But fathers have to learn,

That daughters have to grow.

And if you truly love them you must let them go.

Ah, god, the feeeeels! Obviously, I think of my own daughters now when I listen to this. Because the letting go started as soon as they were born. Letting go enough to allow them to explore their environment, to listen to their own body signals, allowing them to tell me what they want instead of dictating. And it is so hard for me to do. I’m, clearly, a long, long ways away from Triton’s particular dilemma, but every new freedom they gain or trial they overcome, requires me to let go a little bit. To let them be whoever it is in this world they are going to be. Of course, I can guide and help along the way, but doesn’t part of childhood include parents letting go in small increments along the way?

I took a class once when I was still working in daycare and it was about dealing with different temperaments. The instructor talked about how a secure infant/toddler will go off and explore on their own, but still check to make sure you are there if they need you. I try to raise the girls like that. To be adventurous and brave, but to know that I am here if they need me. That they can always come back to me if they need to rest or need reassurance when something new enters their surroundings. And it is my hope that someday, when they are grown, that will come back to me, not because they need to, but because they want to.

Am I making any sense? This all makes sense in my head, but sentimentality makes me a little obsessive and I think I might be trying too hard to communicate what I’m wanting to say. But I guess that’s what love does to you. It makes you a little crazy.

And, oh, I love you so. If only you could know.

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