As a daughter I was always leaving.
Then I became a mother and I learned you can’t leave, but you have to let go.
You have to be there like a rock letting go.
I had to let my babies out when it was time. For nine months my body held another, the most perfect union I‘d known, but when they decided it was time, I had to let them go. I fought, oh yes, I struggled and screamed out my pain, but in the end they had their way. I let them emerge. I was alone again.
I couldn’t leave the house even while they slept. When they wanted to be fed, I had to feed them, but when they wanted to sleep, I had to let them go into a dreamscape from which I was excluded. They woke me up whenever they felt like it, but I couldn’t wake them if I wanted their company.
They begged me to let them go. Out the door, down the street, into a world that could do them harm. They wanted to wander through dark thick woods or jump into pools of water. I was beside myself with terror, but they pleaded so hard I let them go.
The older they got the more wreckless they became. First it was climbing trees, then it was riding around on wheels, and one day it was a metal machine that sped through the streets, a weapon of mass destruction. It seemed incomprehensible, but I had to let them go.
And all the while I was still a daughter, and I wanted to leave.
I had to stay, even if I stayed alone.
I had to stay so I could be there like a rock letting go.
Someday, I was assured, I would be able to leave.
Someday they’d be so far gone that I could leave.
Someday has come and gone. I’m still here letting go.
My daughter keeps leaving, but when I try to leave she stamps her feet.
My son cannot seem to go. He needs me to be here to answer his calls.
Every day I plan to leave but I am told it would destroy them.
If I leave their world will crumble.
So I stay. There is nothing here for me anymore, but I must stay until someone or something takes me away. Only then will I be allowed to go.
When going is not an act of leaving I can go.
I can never leave. I can only let go.