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Letting Go
By Teresa Kindred

Grant and Russell are our three year old identical twin boys. They both have blankets (or blankys, as they call them) that they sleep with every night. The boys curl up on top of them, snuggle, and wiggle until they are positioned just right. If the blanky gets misplaced we have to search until we find it because if they don't have "the blanky" they don't sleep.

In the mornings when they wake up they toddle fuzzy-eyed with sleep to the top of the stairs, then yell and scream to see who will come get them. Occasionally they will throw the blanky over the stair railing for me to catch. Other times they won't let go of it and insist on carrying it down the stairs. Since they are still little critters their blanky sometimes drags the floor. I prefer they give it up BEFORE they start down the stairs, it's much safer but sleepy toddlers aren't always cooperative.

This morning I heard Grant yelling and went to greet him. He pointed to the place where he wanted me to stand while he toddled down the stairs. I held my arms out and waited at the bottom of the stairs. Grant took one step, then another, and another. When he got almost to me he stepped on his blanky and tumbled forward into my arms. I hugged him close and he mumbled, "Thank you for catching me Mommy. I love you."

I won't always be there to catch Grant when he falls. There will be times when he will be beyond my reach. But I know as a parent that one of the best things I can do is to teach my children who they can depend on when I'm not there. God. He is the only "real" security blanket we have on this earth.

I once heard someone say that the hardest part of loving someone is letting them go. That may be true, but knowing that God holds our children in the palm of His hand should comfort us as our children grow and become more independent.

For the moment I am more than content to wait at the bottom of the stairs with my arms wide open and to take my life...one small step at a time.

Teresa is a wife and mother of five children. She is also the author of two books, a columnist and a public speaker. You can visit Teresa on-line at Teresa Kindred