Letting Them Go

I’m stepping away from books today to share a past post. So much has changed since I posted this article several years ago. Just look how small my kids were in this photo. They are now busy teenagers and have so many camps and activities related to growing up that the visitation schedule I was always worried about sometimes goes out the window, but I remember when it was really hard to let them go. The way I’ve always gotten through it is to pray for my kids, be extremely flexible, and respect that – in our case – they wanted to go. What helped the most was always knowing that they were coming back, which is why it’s now difficult to believe they will all graduate in a few years and be off to college.  I’ve been practicing letting them go for years, so I should be ready for that part, but I’m not. Of course, they are, or at least they think so. 


Tina Ann Forkner and Family - 2009
Tina Ann Forkner and Family – 2009

On Sunday, I sent my little girl off to visit her dad in another state for a few months. My hubby tried to make me feel better by suggesting that editing book two and working hard on promotional efforts for Ruby Among Us would help pass the time.

I suppose he is right, but I would have much preferred to work part-time this summer and spend the rest of it at the pool, the park, and gardening in the backyard with my daughter and her brothers like I did last year.

Last night, after she was gone, my husband took one of our sons to baseball practice while the other helped me finish the garden. The tomato plants were crowding out of their containers and their peat pots were disintegrating, so we needed to get them in as soon as we could. Until last night, we hadn’t really had time to finish the gardening due to book signings and trying to spend extra time with their sister.

We really did have fun digging in the dirt for a while and planting the plants my daughter helped us start from seed, but as we chatted and worked I knew he would have had more fun if his sister had been there and not just me. If she had been with us, her busy and creative personality would have made it seem more like we were playing and not working. Eventually, I let him go off to play with his kickball, wishing he had someone to play with.

This morning, as I tip-toed around and whispered to my husband who was getting ready for work, it occurred to me there was no reason to be so quiet. The boys had already gone to their other home for the week and wouldn’t be home until Friday. My daughter was at her dad’s and would be gone much longer. I could slam doors and talk loudly if I wanted to.

I did want to slam some doors as tears welled up and I realized that this is the price of marriages and lives gone wrong as they dipped into the valley. We do what we can to stay up now that our lives are filled with joy and we have all found each other, but some things will always be there like a ghost whispering of the past.

I know she will be having a blast with her dad. We will write each other letters, she’ll call me every day and we’ll talk so long that I’ll have to make her get off the phone for bedtime. Two months is really not that long. Right? By August, this will have passed and we will be together again, until the next time.

by Tina Ann Forkner

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