really, sweetheart? are you sure you want to let that go?

Our daughter knows when she is ready to let go of a thing.

And sometimes I am relieved and other times I realize that I am the one holding on.

What does it mean to let go of that stuff?

The kid stuff.

The stuff they played with they learned on they put their grubby sticky applesauce-covered hands all over and toted around for weeks or months or years.

It means that they are getting older

and we are getting older

and things are not staying the same 

and time has passed and it's not coming back.

It means that we did what we could during that stage and we're proud of some of it and ashamed of some of it and we still we can't do it over even if we want to.

It means that we are no longer the parents of a baby or a toddler or a preschooler or a kid or a tween or a teen.

Sometimes it means that we spent money on something that no one used

or used once or twice and then never picked up again.

Sometimes it means that they don't like the same clothes or books or art we like

so they have their own opinions so we are not the boss of their brains.

It means that they have a gut feeling and we can help them trust it

or we can second-guess it.

We can show them holding on, gripping tightly, fearing change

or we can show them that we can let go and still be safe.

We can let them see us hanging on to a time when they were smaller, squishier, sillier

or we can show up, all in, for the people they are right now.