Letting Go

“How old is your son?” I was caught off guard by her sharp tone.

“Uh, which one?” I quipped back, knowing who she meant.

“The one getting married soon.” Her disapproving tone was now obvious.

“Oh, he’s 25,” I said with a smile.

“25! That’s too young to be married!” she asserted with an air of expertise.

“Well, I was 21 when I got married,” I said, half jesting to counter her judgment.

“Still! 25 is too young to be married,” she insisted.

The proclamation of her opinion sounded so much like truth,  it caused me to doubt whether my son was indeed too young to be married. I quickly began a review of his character and adult qualifications, but then I stopped myself.

It has been almost five years since he has lived with me, and longer still since I’ve paid any of his bills. Seven years ago he was granted the right to vote, and within the past four years he became old enough to purchase and consume alcohol.

Too young to be married? Really. I was aggravated that I had allowed her opinion to bring doubt to my mind about his decision. There may be a multitude of reasons why he is NOT too young to be married, but the most important reason is – at 25 he has decided to get married.

It is a common issue for parents, mostly mothers, I think. Seems that no one has told us when to stop being in control and let our children take control … of their lives. I mean, really doesn’t it feel that it was just yesterday that they were learning to talk? But from the moment they’re conceived, their movement is away from us. Nine months incubating, growing, and we become all too quick with the desire for them to get out, to be born. Then our proud excitement as they learn to roll and crawl and walk. Have you ever thought that these are all movements away from us? Then they’re off to school, and preferring their friends, away, away, and away. The physical movement emphasizes the separation in the relationship, a relationship that begins with full dependence, but ends with full independence.

Is my college graduate, gainfully employed 25-year old son too young to get married? Yes, no … I don’t know. How can anyone be certain? But as I reflect, I am certain about one thing –  he will figure it out, and he doesn’t need my doubts to color his confidence. Last time I looked he was living his life, and I am living mine. All my adult children should have the privilege of living their own lives, whatever that looks like, and no matter what my opinion is. After all, did I have children to possess them forever, or to love them and let them go?

~ ily momma

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