Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Sometimes You Gotta Let Go



I had this idea of New Year's Eve in my head where I'd watch Fuller House with the kids while surrounded by lots of cheese. 

The cheese part still happened. 

But the kid part?

Well.

For starters, my son got a ton of new video games for Christmas so he's been holed up in his room only to emerge for bathroom breaks and meals. He'll come down blinking into the light, hair askew, clad in his pajamas. 

My daughter? Well, she's growing up. She used to be a sure thing on New Year's Eve. We'd pig out on cheese, watch movies, and sip on sparkling grape juice. But now? Well. On New Year's Eve she asked if she could hang out with a friend.

"Only until 7," I said. "We have Fuller House to watch."

She nodded. "Okay."

When 7 rolled around she asked if she could stay until 730 because they wanted to play on the new karaoke machine her friend got. I said yes. 

She did return home at 730 and I handed her some cheese, got her brother to turn off a video game, and started Fuller House. 

In the middle of it a friend called. 

"Fireworks? Yeah, I'd like to see those," Natalie said excitedly. Then she looked at me. "But I can't. I'm watching a show with my Mom." She poked at her cheese. She wasn't even eating much of it because she ate at her friend's house. 

I thought it was sweet that she was honest. And then I pictured her as a little kid, by my side, eating all the cheese and I thought, you know, she is getting older. I can't expect her to always want to be with me anymore. 



"Natalie," I cut in. "You can go."

Natalie's face lit up. "I can?" She stared at the screen. "But our show.."

I also thought it was sweet that she was concerned. Maybe that was why I was letting her go. 




In the end, Natalie ended up spending the night with her friend. I went to pick her up at 10, but then the mom said Natalie could stay and I could see her excitement. 

She's in middle school now. I know she won't always want to be with me. I mean, she would have, had I said no. She'd have put on a smile, because she wouldn't want to hurt my feelings, but I would know she would have preferred to be with friends. 





And so I told her good night and headed home to the house. But I wasn't alone. My husband was in bed, yes, but I still had my son. I went into his room and he was playing a video game, naturally, but he said he would watch the fireworks with me at midnight.

He did.




Sure, I missed my daughter. And I thought back to when she was smaller.






However, I know we'll have many other moments together. There are holidays she has to stick around for. Plus, when she came home, she gave me a huge hug and said thank you for letting her stay. 

Letting go is tough. 

But it's part of life. And it's part of being a parent.





40 comments:

  1. What a beautiful post! I can imagine as a mother this is such a hard part of your kids growing up - but it sounds like you have a lovely relationship! :)

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  2. I'm not mum, but I read your story in the eyes of mine and this makes me goosebumps because reading has meant reading his emotions!

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  3. Sweet story. I like how you both thought of each other's feelings.

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  4. This makes me tear up a little bit. I don't want my kiddos to get older. I wanted to stay with me and always want to hang out with me! Is that bad?

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  5. I had similar situations with my kids who were out on their own this New Years. My son slept at some friends and my daughter was out at a party until 1:30. I was home in bed with a cold.

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  6. My kids were more interested in books and games as well. I did manage to drag them together for a few board games, but I'll admit, I'm not loving staying up that late anymore! (Can they let me go -- to bed? Just kidding. I do enjoy the time together. I'll take it while I can get it.

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  7. So sweet I don't know if i will be able to let go when my boys start doing stuff on their own It will make me sad but I will have to adjust.

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  8. My kid wrapped up his 1st semester at college and it was so nice having him home these past couple of weeks. I can't help but look at him and see my precious little boy but it's been quite a ride watching him grow.

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  9. It's tough for me as well. Letting go is just so hard. My son is in his sophomore year, and it feels like just yesterday I was picking him up from daycare.

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  10. Been in that position before. Now we are in bed way before the new year starts

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  11. It is hard to see them grow up. I had two of my kids to ring the new year in.

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  12. That's right that sometimes you gotta let go, as you can't really change some things. That's great your kids are changing ... you can create new family customs for the New Year's Eve. :)

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  13. Aww! That is so touching and generous of you to let go. Yes, kids grow up super fast. I did not get my chance to watch "It's A Wonderful Life" with them over Christmas but that's life.

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  14. Kids grow up fast sometimes we regret not spending so much time with them. I bet it was hard at first to let go things esp. when they play it for such a long period oof time.

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  15. The growing up seems to happen so suddenly. It's sweet your daughter was willing to stay with you. It was also sweet of you to let her go. Best wishes for this New Year to you and your family.

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  16. It's hard watching them grow up, but also so rewarding. Happy New Year to you and your family!

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  17. I can totally relate to this. I've been thinking a lot over the holidays, how they want to spend more time with friends as they get older, and how their time as a little kid really is short. Soon enough they are off doing their own things. It's tough but part of the process I guess.

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  18. This is so sweet! I love that she initially told her friend that she was going to stay with you. It’s so clear how much she loves you—and what a good mommy you are!

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  19. It's hard to see them growing up but it's so sweet of you to let her be the young adult that she is. Happy new year!

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  20. I can totally understand your feeling, tho you gotta let go and let her friends to be part of her childhood as well.

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  21. It's so hard when they grow up and get their own lives! My son is a gamer, and like yours, he spent most of break holed up in his room playing his new games and chatting with friends. I miss the days of watching movies together!

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  22. Ahh, it's sweet and sad. It's true that letting go is tough. I hope you'll have more adventures and travels this year with your family!

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  23. It's so bittersweet when kids grow up. It's cool seeing them develop their personalities and friendships but it's hard when they leave you.

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  24. I know we have to but it is so hard to let go! Mine are still little ( 5 and 2) but with my 5 year old I am already seeing that rather be with friends sometimes thing and it stings!

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  25. My kids just turned 10 a few days before New Years Eve. This was the first year they stayed up to midnight to see the ball drop. We watched a season worth of A Series of Unfortunate Events on Netflix leading up to midnight together. I'm sure things will be changing soon with them wanting to spend time with mom and dad just like in your case so made sure to enjoy the moment this year. Happy New Year!

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  26. The kids growing up is one of those things as a parent that you are sad to see happen but it does. Seems like you have such a great relationship!

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  27. It's so hard to let go sometimes but I love every single thing about your story. The fact that your daughter was concerned about watching the show with you was oh so very sweet - you are raising a really great family.

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  28. Kids getting older is so hard to come to terms with some days. You handled it beautifully though, im sure your daughter appreciated you letting her branch off and do her own thing. Happy 2019!

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  29. I hate how quickly kids get so big and old. They grow too fast! My girls love fuller house, I’m the one refusing to watch it! - Jeanine

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  30. My son is 5 and it seems like he was born yesterday. I can't seem to let go of his baby phase!

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  31. I love the idea of just hanging out watching movies and snacking the night away. I have two toddlers boy and sometimes they choose to hang out with their grandparents (who live right next door) instead of going to the movies with us.

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  32. Happy New Year! I love Fuller House. My son and I sat one weekend and watched the first 13 Episodes. We laughed so hard.

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  33. I can't imagine what it must be like for your kids to want to spend time away because they are toddlers, but I will keep this in mind as they get older. It was nice of you to let her go out and have fun.

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  34. Yes as kids grow up their wishes also change. As parent we need to let it go so that they can have their own time.but we mom miss that small girl and boy.

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  35. This is so true. I had to let go early i a lot of ways because of divorce. But there is still a letting go even so, when she wants to spend more time with friends than with me. So she did an overnight two days before Christmas this year in the little time I had with her for the holidays. Because she is growing up. And i know i need to let go.

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  36. Sometimes you gotta let go,but it can be too painful. Sometimes, you don't went to let your kids go but as they grow, you have to. This is so sweet and touching.

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  37. Oh, I can empathize! I have - now - four adult kids and an empty nest. I had to let go of them one at a time, as they got old enough to leave the nest! Then it happened again, as two of the four moved FAR away, to the other side of the country. It's never easy, yet it's necessary for their growth, and ours!

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  38. Lovely post! This makes me tear up a little bit. As parent we need to let it go so that they can have their own time.

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  39. I am missing my mom after reading your post. It's really beautifully written. Time passes by so quick and you will always have to let things pass by the way they have to.

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  40. For starters, she is amazing, because her name is Natalie. haha. But this post made me cry, wasn't expecting that. My oldest daughter is 14 and she is always with friends or talking to them, I miss the days where we would hangout together. I have 3 other kids, but "co-parent" with my ex and I don't get them as often. I totally get the feeling though.

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