Momma Chel is a contributing writer to this community, as well as a mother raising several children in her expanded family. These are some of her thoughts regarding the subject.

Previous editions of this column can be found in the Monthly Columns Archives.

Letting Go

How do you let go of children that have been in your life for the last 5 years? Well, Iím about to find out. Officially, our girlfriend and her three children will be moving out at the end of the month and subsequently moving on with their lives in another town, far from here. This has been a process that I wanted to share with all of you.

Back when I wrote "Stepping Back", I really didnít know that this was the beginning of letting go. I felt a need to step back and reestablish guidelines and boundaries never fully realizing that I was breaking away as a parental unit for the three youngest children of our family. Possibly, my subconscious was already at work helping to prepare me for the moment when these beautiful children are no longer in my life; I shall never know, but the time for goodbye is near.

As I took a trip down memory lane last month, I was trying to bring to light all the positives that weíve gone through as a family. This month it seems harder to not dwell upon all the events that will be missed. I shall miss the big, evening suppers with tales from school and the milk that gets spilled almost every night. I will miss the cuddling of the little ones, as my older two are just too big (they think) to cuddle up on the couch with mom. The nighttime stories (especially our favorites!), the walks around the block, the huge Christmas mornings and being called Momma Chel. I could go on forever about the sweet little memories that will stick with me, but I think everyone gets the point --- I will miss the little stuff that helped make the day special. I also stop to ponder about how their life will be without all of us in it. I think of Ray soon becoming a middle schooler and how Nickel Ray is already starting to change into a young woman and how I wonít be there to comfort them or help them with these changes. I think of how Sassypants has evolved being the youngest and how Iím not going to fully see her as she changes with each passing month. Iíve resolved myself to the fact that I was there for each of them through a time that they needed me and somehow it grounds me and I find comfort in it.

My oldest two are at ease with the situation. Weíve discussed how this will be a dramatic change and Dancing Queen sweetly said that itís a change that she doesnít like, but sheíll just have to get used to it. Little Boom is quite the teenager and only sees the positives in it as this seems to be a time of selfishness in his life. He does give me lots of hugs lately and in his own way, is responding to my sadness. He is very compassionate even when he doesnít always understand the situation. Dancing Queen talks to me a lot and this helps to just get involved with everything they have going on versus being stuck with the unknowns about where and what will be for the children in my life that I have to let go of.

As of now, we plan on keeping in touch with our extended family and in time as the wounds heal, we may even be able to get together now and again. My hopes are to continue finding the positives that these years have brought and to remember to laugh at all the little things that have happened along the way. It is better to laugh and remember than to be sad and angry; after all, the children have made our journey even more memorable.

As a side note, I will be taking a break from my column for the summer. I feel this is a necessary time for reflection and balancing. I donít know exactly what emotions I will be experiencing and would just like to take time to rationalize them before I start to write my column again. I hope to come back with a fresh perspective and a new lease on life so I can continue to share with this wonderful community and be a positive influence to it. Thanks to each of you for your support to me!

Momma Chel is a contributing writer as well as a member of this online Community. She can be contacted here or through our message board Forums.

Momma Chel; May 21, 2006


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