Parenting: The Art of Letting Go, Part 2

When we bought this house, I was the mom of 3 young boys.  Our previous house was tiny, with a tiny yard, and in a not so good neighborhood.  We knew we needed more space, both inside and out for the energy that 3 boys produce.  I knew the house was perfect for us the moment I stepped through the front door, although dear hubby said I had to see the entire place before making the final decision.  The house was the right size, with the right number of rooms and in a great neighborhood.  What more did we need?

Then we stepped into the back yard.  You can’t tell from the picture because that is only one side of the house, but the yard is almost 1/3 of an acre.  Small to some, but huge to us city folk.  Most of the yard is just grass, no landscaping even!  Then we saw it as we turned the corner of the house…a Rainbow Play System!  The boys were in love!  I envisioned evenings on the deck, watching them play while enjoying a glass of wine.  And that is what we did. 

They pretended it was a pirate ship a sail in the raging seas.  They flew like superman on the swings trying to see if they could fly to the “other side.”  They came down the slide all at once, pretending to be a sandwich.  Several times a day, we’d hear, “Mom! Dad! Watch this!”  So proud as they learned some new trick. Oh, and the squeals of laughter.  Can’t forget those!

I knew it couldn’t last forever, but I savored those moments and never took enough pictures.  As the boys got older, we started to notice they weren’t on it so much anymore.  They were still out there playing, but it has taken on a new form of play.  No more pirates.  All 3 on the slide tended to turn into a small argument about who was squashing who so they would just give up.  No more high-flying, just some gentle swinging as they discussed the important things in life.

With the help of dad, the campaign was begun to do something new in the back yard.  We found a young couple, foster parents, who had been looking for a play system just like ours for a while.  The tear down began.  Hubby and the oldest son carefully took it apart, piece by piece as a stood by the window thinking of all the wonderful memories we had made and knowing that it was going to a family that would use it.  Ah, this process of letting go is made just a bit easier by knowing that it doesn’t end here.

As soon as it was out of the yard, the lawn was given a good mowing, extra seed was spread to try to bring back the grass in the places worn bare by the feet over so many years.  Dreaming began.  A garden for mom?  Nah, not fun enough!  A swimming pool?  Nope, it’s generally too chilly here for that.  Just open grass?  No, we want something fun!

  And now we have the giggles.

And now we have the games.

And now we have the words of “Mom! Dad!  Look at what I can do.”

Not so much just letting go, as moving on to the next adventure this time.

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