A spring/summer lockdown was one story. Even though children are still at school, and we’re not as restricted as before (yet!), it is still another thing to head into lockdown 2 as the days shorten, as winter sets in, and as plans for the festive season can’t be made.
Last week was half-term and one of my pleasures was walking my dog without clock watching. But I only managed this twice… I had got my son, at home; too much work to catch up on; and a Tier 3 appropriate birthday to plan. My son turned 7 during the holiday and; after I had let go of the expectation that a holiday in the sun would happen in Easter, then summer; I also had to let go of the hope that it would happen then.
Instead, I let go of a little more of his childhood, of a few more outgrown clothes & shoes, and of trick or treating (which we love) against the backdrop of falling leaves.
And it reminded me of this beautiful quote about the beauty of ‘letting go’.
For too long, we’ve been taught that the solution to all of our problems is to ‘know everything’; To have a plan for it all, to be in control… It turned out we all knew so little.
As we move forward into an uncertain future, there is so much to let go of…. Our expectations…. The plans we all made that turned out to be based on nothing more than hope.
And the control we all felt we had, that turned out to be a lie.
And, as parents, especially our guilt; The feeling we should know exactly what to do all the time (even in the face of a global pandemic) be a 24/7 available parent, and manage the work-family-life balance thing effortlessly.
Do I ever get mum-guilt? Of course. But not often. And that’s NOT because I’m the parent I want to be. Frequently, I’m not. It’s because I’m letting go of (working on, at least) expecting too much of myself.
Does my child watch too much TV? Yes
Does he ever hear me swear? Too often
Does he sometimes eat more spaghetti hoops than cooked meals? Yes
How often do we do arts & crafts or baking? Not very…
Despite all of the darkness we are living in & through, we can take some lessons from nature right now; especially from the trees…
They don’t fight to keep their leaves. They just let them go. Can we at least try to let go a little; of our hopes, expectations, and our guilt?
This is all a bit tree-huggy, I know, but; even when they’re bald, dishevelled and far from their best; the trees are as sturdy as they ever were.
Spring will return, and they will flourish again…. And I like to think, so can we 💖