Parenting and Surrendering

I was chatting with a new friend recently. We discussed a variety of topics, looking for common ground. Fortunately, we found it quickly in the details and the big-picture themes. She has a son starting his first year of university, which is a huge milestone for him and the family.

My children are in their mid-40s now, so we are at different points in our life journey. She mentioned she is having to learn that parenting is about learning to surrender.

How profound.

He is stepping out into life to be much more on his own. It is a healthy milestone that one learns how to handle even without experience.

This got me thinking about my entire parenting journey. I think the idea of surrendering is a constant component. My wife pointed out that the first surrendering is the pre-parenting life! Maybe surrendering is too strong a word, but it certainly was a profound adjustment.

Baby’s first success at standing upright. We hold our breath. We are ready to catch the baby, he or she, should he or she begin to fall backwards. Gradually and all too quickly, the baby teaches us, “I got this, Dad.” And we stop trying to be there for every standing-up performance. We are, in fact, surrendering to the fact we are not needed nearly as much as we used to be needed.

This happened repeatedly over the maturing years of my children.

I think of the first days at school, first dates, first loves, summer camp, and first job. I was getting trained as a parent to let go. Along with surrendering, I also focused on finding my place in the world, which was not defined as parenting. This transition was a healthy one. It was full of scary times and difficult challenges while being made easier with the help of friends and family. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

Please give this a bit of a think. Looking back to your childhood, how did your parents handle your milestones? Helpful? How are you doing with surrendering the need-to-be-needed?

Photo by AI-Copilot

I’m curious about your thoughts. Please share your bit of a think in the comment section below. It will come to me for approval before posting.

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