Monday, October 24, 2011

The Ledge That Holds The Brave

Most of our parenting is done on a plateau. An open field that we circle through over and over again. We travel the same course so often, the terrain becomes a part of us. It's just daily life. Lived, well, daily. The familiar.

That's the safe spot. That plateau that feels routine and normal. It's not easy work, this daily parenting, but here it is comfortable because we know it inside and out.

But at the far reaches of the field, there is a ledge. And there are times we are required to stand at it's margin and look over. This is when parenting is the hardest. When you stand on the ledge with fear and can't decide how to get back to the safe plateau.

Most often, the fear simmers there because we need to take action when all we want is to return to the familiar. Fear blooms when we need to make a course correction with a child, but don't know which one to take. It rises when we watch a daughter attempt something all on her own, no hand holding allowed. It takes root when we are required to un-cup our parent hands and loosen our grip. When our mind tells us to give them more freedom, but our heart wants to contain them in our grasp. Fear just weaves it's way through all of it.

And so we stand at the ledge and hold our fear in our hands while we wonder what to do. And we wait. We wait until we recognize that fear leaves no room for answers. They simply can't fit. So, we sift through that fear, and the closer we look, the more clearly we see that it is only a thin outer layer. Easily peeled away. And the core of what's inside, is brave. Fear was only a cloak.

We can only see the brave when we stand on the ledge. It's the only place we're forced to look for it. But, it's there. We just have to have the courage to wipe off the fear and grab hold of our brave. Only then will we be able see which course correction to make, how much freedom to give a child and how to keep them in our heart while slowly letting them go. That's when true bravery takes shape.

If you are on the ledge today, or any day for that matter, hold to your brave. Hold it true and hold it strong. It will keep you grounded and turn you back to safety.

1 comment :

Alesha LeMmon said...

I am holding tight to my brave as I watch my Abby living in China for 4 months. She is at month two. When she left, I wasn't sure I would ever breathe normally again. What kind of mom was I sending my 19 year old to China!? I later found I was the brave kind, the kind who taught my daughter how to be independent, confident, and brave herself. Thank you for your post, Lisa. We love you very much from way out here in Utah!