August 12th, 2019

Today my daughter turned 20.

It was not a birthday that she was keen to reach. It means the end of the countdown. Rather, it means the end of the count-up. The end of the forward lean, the chase of ages and stages, the climb over the wall and into a thing called real life.

She spent the day with friends and I didn’t hear anything from her after she left the house. Last weekend I was away at a retreat and I sent her three texts without response. This is a new phase in our relationship, a reversal. I imagined that she looked at those three texts and said each time, It’s just my mother. My texts must all sound the same, like a baby’s wa wa to be fed. She’s not supposed to feed me. I stopped sending them. A day late, but I stopped.

It’s not hard to let go of what’s already gone. It’s hard to hold on.

To bring it home, here’s a brand new talk on letting go.

Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash



  1. I feel your pain. My twins turned 20 in April and left the nest at 18. They are not really gone and certainly not forgotten as they flutter back on occasion. Best thing I ever did in my life and hardest to let go of. I see my work as I’m sure do you, and I’m proud and happy for them.

    Comment by Trish Thomas — August 13, 2019 @ 6:12 am

  2. “I am here for you” says your text no matter what you actually type. It is your offer.

    Each of us is prodigal with the need to know someone is out there with open arms to welcome us home when we are ready or simply in need.

    Yes, let go, let go of the expectation of a reply.
    Keep offering attention, even electronically: you are here, you are here. Not waiting on her, but living your own life to be her role model. She needs the comfort that you are here. We all do.

    Comment by MJ — August 13, 2019 @ 7:08 am

  3. This hit home today. I’m having to let go of my granddaughter. She is 14! Starting high school. We were connected to the hip. Then out of the blue no response to text messages, phone calls, etc. She is busy! Planning her life! While her parents are happy, her grandmother misses the connection, the silly laughter, shopping sprees, chats about boys and all the other girly stuff. Fall is coming which means the end of Summer. I wonder, how many more summers do I have left with her? Then I remember, hearing my own distant giggles of my youth beginning high school. It’s a letting go kind of season. Transition from summer to fall then to winter. It all makes me kinda of sad but it is inevitable.

    Comment by Vivian Hatfield — August 13, 2019 @ 8:09 am

  4. I love listening to you. Sometimes what speaks loudest to me are the pauses. Perhaps that is true of you and Georgia, too ♡

    Comment by Bonnie Rae — August 14, 2019 @ 5:55 am

  5. O my, that sounds tough.
    Our eldest has found a second home on an organic farm. They love her very much there and she loves them. After we picked her up from her two week internship there she spent an entire weekend crying, as if someone had broken her heart.
    Sometimes the things we feel are so big that it is difficult to express them in a way that properly represents those feelings.

    Comment by Sim — August 15, 2019 @ 6:19 am

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