Day 3: Offering Up as a Parent

Today’s offering up is general, not an isolated distance, and something that happens on a regular basis. We have 4 daughters. The first 3 are in their teen years at 12, 14 and 17 and our little surprise tag-a-long is just 3 1/2. But really, it doesn’t matter the age of your kids – though I know it gets harder the older they get – there is constant offering up happening when you are a parent.

For me the offering up comes when they are a toddler and want to dress their own way – not the cute little Gap outfit with matching bow. I had to let go of that one with my youngest when she was probably a year or less. And with that, a little bit of my pride and vanity when she decides she wants to wear running shorts with her new dress shoes. My pride and vanity needs to go on the altar and the reward is a girl who is confident in who she is and less stress over things that really do not matter.

The offering up of parenting comes when your new driver wants to take her first road trip down the interstate 90 miles to visit her bestie. She’s a great driver. She’s proven that and that she’s responsible. She has a reliable vehicle. She has us on this end of the trip and family and friends on the other. But when that request comes in, I find myself fighting the letting go. But when I choose to offer up my control and my fears, good things happen. My relationship with my daughter is strengthened, she is being prepared for when she leaves home just months from now.

The offering up comes also when two of our kids, who have mutually decided with us, that they will go to public school this year instead of continuing to homeschool for a 7th year in a row. It wasn’t hard to let them go. It was a sacrifice to make them stay, while they had to fight through the newness and differentness of our choice. Watching them struggle with their own letting go of their flexibility and freedom was a killer. My heart broke for them but we all had to do our own offering up and continue past the newness to the part where it became our new normal and it wasn’t such a bad one after all.

Many, many are the offering ups of a parent. The rewards are infinite in the world of parenting but the letting go isn’t without a bit of sacrifice to my own selfishness, pride, fear and control. To that I say, let ‘em burn.

***This is Day 3 of “31 Days of Offering Up” – part of the #write31days challenge. To read all the posts in order, please visit the overview page.***

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