They set off at dawn. There was excitement and joy. It was going to be about five hours on the road. Prior to this, I had packed all the child’s belongings and off she went.
Later in the evening, one of the uncles rang me. My daughter, who was about two years old, had kept awake, talking and asking questions for the biggest part of the journey. They called her a chatterbox.
I laughed, happy that the trip had been memorable. Back home in Kampala, my mother was alarmed. “What did you just do?” She inquired repeatedly. “How can you send a child so young to a place so far away without yourself? What is wrong with you?”
“But she will be with her father,” I tried to explain although all my explanation was brought to naught. It was unthinkable and unacceptable according to her. My mother made it clear that whatever it was I was doing, it was wrong.
From a very young age, I have kept reminding myself that I am not the sole keeper of my children. Of course, I carry the heavy responsibility as their mother, but I am not their alpha and omega.
I had figured out quickly that for me to assume that role, it would be for me to play the place of God. How? How can you confidently say you are best suited to give your children complete and utmost protection when you also need to be protected in a world full of evil and uncertainty?
We are finite beings in a finite world. We cannot be everywhere, all the time, every time. It’s important for us to appreciate that although as parents we carry responsibility and stewardship of our children, we did not create them and we are not their all and end.
That belief allowed me to slowly but steadily release the children into the loving care and support of the infinite God, who created them in the first place.
They were simply handed to me to steer their paths, to nurture and to guide, and to lovingly allow them to grow into their own place and purpose.
Learning to release and let them go is neither easy nor automatic. You ought to be deliberate and convinced it’s for the good of everyone in the equation.
Firstly, it releases the parent from the pressure and anxiety of thinking they must be everywhere and everything for their children.
Then it releases the children into the space to explore, to grow, to make mistakes and to learn from all the experiences. It allows all the parties to become creative with their time and resources.