A Parent’s Paradox
November 19, 2014

When you become a parent, you sign up for a life of mixed emotions.

You want them to sit up, but you know you’ll miss holding them.

You want them to walk, but you fear they’ll fall and hit their head.

You want them to go to school, but it means they will leave you. It means they’ll have 180 days away from you. And they might fall on the playground and skin their knees.

You want them to make friends, but it means someone else will influence them in ways you won’t anymore.

You want them to know what it’s like for a boy to make their heart beat faster, but you don’t want them to get their hearts broken.

You want them to enjoy their first kiss, but you don’t want it to go any further.

You want them to pursue their dreams, but your heart breaks at the thought of them leaving.

You want them to grow up, find their passion, but it’s so hard to let go.

Until you do.

Until you watch them fall in love. And the child that you held on your knee is in someone else’s arms and that’s their home now.

Or maybe they don’t fall in love, but they make a life for themselves far away and you watch them become who they were meant to be.

It’s strange when you realize you don’t know their wardrobe, you don’t know their friends, or what music they listen to in the car.

And even though somewhere that isn’t your house is home for them now, you can hardly contain your joy as you watch one make a home with their love — the same way you did all those years ago — and the other build the life she dreamed of and a promising career.

It’s a paradox that our greatest joy is both in holding them close and in letting them fly on their own. Yes, it’s ridiculously hard to let go. But it is so worth it. 


  1. beth g sanders

    Thanks, Dawn! My two girls graduated – one from college, one from high school – in the same month. I was a basket case! I couldn’t believe how quickly the time flew by. Enjoy graduation (and the large “raise”)!

  2. Dawn Nicole Baldwin (@dawnnicole)

    Great post, Beth 🙂

    With my youngest in her second year of college & our oldest graduating from college this spring, I can’t say I’m fully there yet but definitely well on my way. (And you’re right, it’s hard. But the hardest part is probably how fast it all went)


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