Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Johnny Do-It-All

by gedtee

When asked about his future plans, my 16 year old son makes no bones about wanting to be a "renaissance man," someone who has broad range of interests and knowledge. I muse on our conversation and smile.

There was a time when I might have been anxious about the fact that he doesn't have anything definite pinned down, hasn't charted a specific course for his future. I've relaxed considerably the past few years as I have seen the fruits of letting go, of easing up on the reins of my control inch-by- inch in favor of letting him make choices.

Homeschool Moms love to direct. They love to make lists of books to read and they enjoy designing projects and field trips and learning experiences for their children. The problem is, Moms tend to enjoy it just a little too much. Controlling and directing can become toxic and addictive. I see this in myself and yes, I see this as a weakness in homeschooling Moms in general. When our careful input bears fruit and we see them mature at an early age---we are loathe to let them take flight. They have thrived under our tutelage and it's difficult for us to see that these sturdy saplings no longer need our moment by moment tending.

I remember a poem that my Mom stitched for me after I left home. Because it has hung on my wall for many years, it is etched in the fabric of my heart as well:

I remember when you were my little girl.
As much a part of me as my right arm.
My every breath and step held you in mind.
Then suddenly, one morning, you were grown.
I was not finished with you.
But we must love our children enough to let them go.
But in my heart you will always be
My Little Girl.

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