The Stuff of Life

A Time to Hold On and A Time to Let Go


lewis bike copy

Sometimes my kids say things on the fly that resonate with me for a long time afterwards. This following little Lewis phrase is one of those statements. Letting go is hard. In this case it was literal, but in parenting it seems I am always figuratively letting go of something I want to hold on to.  

“Mom, let go.”

Those three words hit me like a punch to the gut. Hot tears fogged up my sunglasses.

It was just the mastery of a 2-wheel bike, but it wasn’t. It was more.

My six-year-old’s words echoed in my head as I loosened my grip on that little black bicycle seat and watched my baby boy cruise down the path unassisted.

He doesn’t want my help.

One more item added to the list of ways he doesn’t need me anymore.

That’s what this parenting thing is about though, isn’t it? Training our children up in such a way that they grow in independence. If it is precisely what should happen and what I want to happen, why does it hurt so darn much?

As I watch him reach each new milestone of achievement, my great sense of pride is mixed with an equally great sense of loss. I’m not sure there is an emotion stronger than pain and joy mingled together. And it is such a common one in parenting.

My prayer is that as he grows more independent physically, spiritual growth becomes increasingly evident. That he will one day take up this faith his father and I have been impressing upon him and say

“Mom, Dad.  Let go. I own this now.”

And I will let go; hard as that may be. And I will watch him become his own person. And I will be grateful for the feeling of joy and pain mixed, because with deep love comes deep emotion.

As I watch him go and grow, I will continually pray that the joy of being on the right path, feet on the pedals cruising along without my help, will outweigh the bumps in the road that try to knock him off course.

What about you? Is your child asking you to let go? Maybe you too need to peel your clenched fist off the seat of his bicycle and let him navigate the trail on his own. Go ahead and try it. Just don’t be surprised when tears fog up your sunglasses.

2 Timothy 3:14-15 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.


Author: Kim Harms

I am a contributor at CT Women (previously known as Today's Christian Woman where I was a regular contributor as well). I blog monthly at and have freelanced for a variety of publications including Chicken Soup for the Soul, Guideposts, Thriving Family and Creation Illustrated. Cancer made an unwelcome visit in my breast in January 2016, and I am now working on a book about breast reconstruction after having gone through the insane process myself. My incredible husband of 18 years, Corey, is my biggest writing cheerleader and together we are having a ball raising our three growing boys; Carter 15, Owen 14 and Lewis 10.

3 thoughts on “A Time to Hold On and A Time to Let Go

  1. It amazes me how God works. My little brother is getting married next year; I am still unable to accept that I won’t be the first person he runs to for help, or he won’t need me as much anymore. It breaks my heart. At the same time, I am extremely happy and praising God for this milestone. He makes me very very proud. I am not sure how I became a parent to that extent. I totally understand how you feel, even though I have no children of my own yet!

  2. You were thrown into parenting as such a young age. I’m sure your brother is beyond thankful to have you as both a sister and a mother. I can’t even begin to imagine what it’s gonna be like when one of my boys gets married. So far, the oldest two have no interest in girls and say they will never get married. Lewis on the other hand has already told me he thinks he’ll get married someday 😉

  3. And again I say “Amen”.

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