Thursday, February 4, 2010

Letting Go.

When I brought Levi home from the hospital, I was a mess of emotions. I went from laughing and story-telling one minute, to running to the bathroom bawling buckets of tears the next. I often didn't know why I was crying, but I knew that I was overwhelmed with new feelings for my baby. My hormones were absolutely all over the place and it was beyond my control.

IMG_1389.JPG

The day after we got home with Levi, my sister-in-law (Husby's sister) and her son (who was 4 months old at the time) came to visit. I hadn't seen my nephew since he was 2 weeks old, so I was in such shock to see how much he had grown in four short months. He didn't even resemble the baby I held a few months earlier. And you know what? That sent me over the edge. I looked down at Levi, then over to Desmond, and I lost it. At that moment in time, I did not want Levi growing. I wanted him to stay my little baby and never get bigger. I couldn't bear the thought of him GROWING. Silly, I know, but at that moment, it was the saddest thing ever.

daweeb0014.JPG

I ran to the bathroom and cried and cried and cried and....cried. I had been gone a good 20 minutes before someone came to check on me, and there I sat on the bathtub - a sobbing mess.

Husby asked what was wrong and I just had to laugh. I laughed while I cried and said, "I know it's stupid, but I don't want Levi to ever be the size of Desmond. I want him to stay my baby!!"

Husby had to laugh, too, but he hugged me, kissed me and told me that it was going to be okay, and that we want Levi to grow. We sat there for a few minutes - me bawling, him laughing and me saying over and over, "WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?! I know this is ridiculous, but I can't help it!"

And that is the moment that I had to take a deep breath and take my first step of "letting go".

When you bring your baby home and you sit gazing into their precious little eyes, the last thing you can even imagine is EVER letting them go to school, drive a car, go to college .... anything that requires them leaving you and becoming independent. I mean, I didn't even want him being four months old! (LET GO, WOMAN!) Your instinct is to nestle them in your arms and never let go. To guard them with your life and to do anything and everything to make sure that they are safe. The thought of Levi as a teenager is a terrifying thought to me right now because we aren't there yet.

We haven't yet been through all of the appropriate stages of "letting go", so the very thought is impossible to imagine. We have years and years of stages to live out, decisions to make, trials to walk through and triumphs to rejoice in before Levi hits the teen years. I think it's amazing how from the very beginning of our babies lives, God starts preparing us for their independence. We take baby steps, letting go little by little, because we know it's what is best - what is normal - and what is healthy for our children and for ourselves.

Moving them to their own room - baby step.
Dropping them off at the nursery at Church - baby step.
Overnight stays with the grandparents - baby step.
Hiring a babysitter - baby step.

LeviBath-1

All of these gradual things that we do for our children now are ultimately preparing us for letting them go - letting them flourish and grow ON THEIR OWN (with our guidance and direction), just as God designed. Sometimes it is so scary, and often times just flat out sad, but it is normal and vital for a child to learn that taking these steps will ultimately lead to a happy and healthy life. I don't ever want to hold Levi back. I don't ever want to hinder him from new adventures and to stifle his independence. I try hard to "let go" (even when I don't want to) because I don't want him to think that being away from me and trying new things on his own is ever "scary".

It's hard.

It's hard letting my baby become a big boy. Husby says I am in denial that he's a big boy and I tell him to hush and that Levi is a newborn.

A massive, giant newborn.

(He will be my newborn until he's 30.)

As hard and as sad as it is watching my baby gradually become a "big boy" (tear), it is equally fantastic and even more exciting. God designed our babies to grow up, believe it or not. I have found that there is no way to stop it, though I have tried time and again. The only solution I have to the problem of Levi growing up, is to keep having babies and become the next Michelle Duggar.

And to keep "letting go" bit by bit, step by step. (With the help of Husby's shoulder to bawl on and a life long supply of Kleenex.)

Baby Face-1

(And I'm kidding about the Michelle Duggar thing.)

(I think.)

34 comments:

  1. Awww...such a great post. I'm not very good at the letting go stuff. You are waaayyy ahead of me!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I feel like I could've written the beginning of this post!! I had SEVERAL of those moments after we brought Molly home.

    When I got Molly's newborn slide show the photographer put it to this song that was talking about how she was going to be 16 and then she was going to be 30 and have kids of her own and it COMPLETELY sent me over the edge! I was like 30?? WHAT? she's only 10 days old. And I just had this ACHING feeling in my heart that I didn't want her to change one bit.

    For me, it's gotten a lot easier because they are just so much fun! So much personality and they are learning something new everyday! It's so rewarding.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have been reading your blog for a while now and I have just fallen in love with your family! You are so sweet and Levi is PRECIOUS! My little girl is 16 months old and I can't believe it! Being a mommy is just amazing!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love this!

    Evy turns one year old next week. I literally don't think my mind can comprehend it.

    And I'm just like you. I think I might need to become Michelle...?

    I really loved this post :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh my yes babies are precious, which is why I keep having them!

    Just wait until terrible 2's, youll want him to grow out of...but uh uh uh, I say, why is there no warning for the 3's?! My oldest just turned 3! Its crazy...I have alot of the same beliefs in raising a child as you. So no matter what you do, boys in their 3's are crazy!

    I just got our city activity paper and saw that hes old enough for Biddy Tots Soccer!!! We are so enrolling him because he loves soccer and thinking about a bunch of 3 year olds running around with no clue what to do just seems priceless!

    I always tell my boys..."dont think that because your growing that your gonna get rid of me, I will be giving you lots and lots of kisses until my dying day"...they just smile, they really have no clue!

    ReplyDelete
  6. "The only solution I have to the problem of Levi growing up, is to keep having babies and become the next Michelle Duggar."

    You are hilarous!!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. You've captured this "fear" perfectly! Chloe just sprouted 3 teeth in the last week and I've been feeling this same way...why does it have to move so fast?
    *Sigh*

    ReplyDelete
  8. What a beautifully written post. It's so true. It definitely makes me weepy when I look back at pictures from 7 short months ago.

    How did my two precious boys who were only 5lbs when they were born, get to be so chubby & STRONG?!

    You're such a good mommy -- little Levi is one lucky (and handsome!) baby :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always. As long as I'm living my baby you'll be!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love the newborn stage so much. My husband always picks on me saying, "you'd be that 18 kids and counting chick if I was cool with it!"

    He's probably right. I just love babies and the whole process of bringing them into the world. It's addicting!

    If it's any encouragement, I think Levi is going to do some great things in the name of His creator. He's so blessed to have parents that want him to grow spiritually above all else.

    ReplyDelete
  11. So sweet! I am not looking forward to having those emotional breakdowns when my sweet girl arrives! I have never cried so much in my life after Cannon was born. But it does get easier to let go. Cannon is now 3 1/2 and it amazes me how quickly time has gone. God gives us special things to look forward to in each stage of development that I think makes it a little easier to let them grow! Just wait until he can talk and tells you that he loves you! I think you will be fine letting him grow to that point! :) It's the most wonderful sound in the world!

    Levi is such a handsome boy!

    ReplyDelete
  12. The pictures of Levi are absolutely PRECIOUS. The last two just took my breath away. Seriously. He is such a beautiful little boy and the pictures caputured him so well :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. We don't have kids yet (and won't for a while still), but I think that might be the hardest part of motherhood for me, when it happens - the letting go. I'm sort of a control freak, and it will take some effort for me to let my baby/ies grow up. Kudos for you to realizing early how important it is - Levi will appreciate it :)

    Also, the picture of him in the bath, all wet, is about the cutest thing I've ever seen. He has the best baby smile ever - and I love his eyelashes in that one! SO precious :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Your baby boy is ADORABLE!!! I'm not even a baby person, and I'm sure I could come snuggle with him for hours! :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Such a good post, and so true!! I keep reminding myself that I want Cub to have enough independence so he can decide he loves me--rather than feeling so co-dependent on me that he can't live without me. I think codependency and love get confused, when they are actually nothing alike!!

    The pics are too cute. I can't believe how much he's grown!!

    ReplyDelete
  16. That's exactly how I feel right now. My little Hailey is 12 days old and I get so sad thinking that she is going to grow up so fast and that I will miss the little baby that she was.

    ReplyDelete
  17. oh.my.goodness. this is so true! my daughter is 13 weeks old, and i am already missing the baby i had a few weeks ago! i just lamented this in the post i did for her 3 month birthday. it's impossible to remember everything, but i wish i could!

    ReplyDelete
  18. This is something that I can definitely NOT relate to, but just the same, my heart feels sympathy. This was a great post, Whitney.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Beautiful post! I haven't gone through any of that yet (I am 23 weeks preggo right now) but I know I will be a mess, too. I'll have to bookmark this post to help me!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Well if you DO become the next Duggar mom at least we bloggers are guaranteed many long years of parenting stories and entertainment. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  21. OH how sweet!! I LOVE THE LAST PICTURE OF LITTLE LEVI!!! He is absolutely gorgeous! Those blue eyes, and pink cheeks! Give him a kiss for me!! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  22. I remember that! Poor you. I had no idea that's what you were upset about. I completely understand, though. Now, Levi is BIGGER than Desmond! Maybe you can post the pics of the boys some time so everyone can see our two handsome boys. :-) Love you, sis!

    ReplyDelete
  23. I remember that day. I felt so bad for you but knew I couldn't really help. As I've told you before, we loved EVERY stage of life our children were in. And now as adults, when they are our dearest and closest friends, we love it all the more!

    ReplyDelete
  24. It's hard with the first one because you are excited to see them reach new milestones. encouraging them to sit by themselves, crawl, and eventually walk. But then when they roll over for the first time or take their first bite of rice cereal you realize that they are getting bigger, getting one step further away from being the helpless baby you held in the hospital. (I just worry that it will be even harder with the second one and I'll want to keep them as y baby even longer, but we'll see one day)

    My little one is big for her age and sometimes its quite sad for me because I feel like I'm loosing my little tiny baby even faster. But I am excited about all she will accomplish one day, I'm excited about the independence she will gain and I'm excited to send her out into the world, teaching her all that I can, and then seeing the wonderful things God has planned for her life.

    Thanks for a great post. And I know it's hard to watch Levi grow, but am enjoying following your journey, he's a handsome little one

    ReplyDelete
  25. Wahhh...tears...snot....hiccup and repeat...

    & repeat
    & repeat
    ....

    Oh Whitney - I know just how you feel...I told Alex just this morning, I didn't think there was any way I could have kissed him or held him anymore without letting him learn how to walk and such...which it's tempting to snuggle him all day long. I always say I'm looking forward to instead of I can't wait - Because I CAN wait...I want savor each moment and really be in these moments, ya know. Not just getting by day to day.

    Great post!

    ReplyDelete
  26. You would make a GREAT Michelle Duggar! And we definitely need more like her in the world... ;)

    ReplyDelete
  27. I thought at the end of this you were going to tell us that you were pregnant again.

    ReplyDelete
  28. That is so true that you basically raise them to eventually be on their own...SAD! But so important. And probably so hard to do at the same time. ;) I'm sure I'm about to find out! Sweet pics of your little man. :)

    ReplyDelete
  29. Good call. It's always amazing to me how I've feared just what you're talking about - my kids being "big", going to daycare, then preschool, etc. But when the time comes you realize you are ready because it's just the next little step. And I suppose that's exactly why God didn't plan for kids to start high school at two months old:)

    ReplyDelete
  30. Loved this post! Then I watched a video that you need to see! It goes well what you posted here!

    Here is the link: whttp://memoriesoncloverlane.blogspot.com/2010/02/wanna-bawl-your-head-off-this-morning.htmlith

    ReplyDelete
  31. My 'newborn' will be 7 months tomorrow. I think I must say everyday that he's getting too big and I'm pretty sure he was just born yesterday. Then I go and look at his pictures from the hospital when he was born and really put myself over the edge! I just became a follower- Your little boy is precious!

    ReplyDelete
  32. I haven't had my baby yet (due April 1st) but I can identify! I feel like I am having to start learning how to "let go" (my term has been "release") too. It's a wild journey. And comforting to know that I am not the only person crying buckets over the things I cannot control.

    I have a very brief post about it here: http://danandamyhess.blogspot.com/2010/02/journey.html

    ReplyDelete
  33. I sing "Baby Beluga" to my son every night and actually tear up at the "Little white whale on the go" part, bc I picture my 6 month old going to college. I don't know why, but that line gets me every time.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Oh, I can soooo relate... mine are 10 and 14 and in my mind they are still newborn and 3... I still tell people I have "small children" and cry all the time because they are big.

    ReplyDelete

May the Lord bless you and keep you safe today! Thanks for the comment, friends! :)

Related Posts with Thumbnails