Strength to Let Go

I saw you, because you let me.

You were right there by my side, until you let go.

You didn’t tell me, and I didn’t look back,

Until I was too far out of your reach.

I was thrilled. I was furious.

I trusted you. I felt you let me down.

It took just a moment to go from a trike to a two-wheeler,

But all of these years to understand, and let go of the anger . . .

Of the confused jumble of mixed feelings which made me so independent – so furious.

It took until today, when it became my turn.

Time removed her training wheels.

She was excited and nervous. So was I.

She pleaded with me to not let her fall. I promised I’d be there for her.

She saw me, because I let her.

She was confident because she knew I was there.

I helped her keep her balance until I felt she was ready.

I let go for one, then two seconds – yet, once she became unsteady,

I felt my fingers tighten under her seat.

It took great effort but I managed to loosen my grip – ever so slightly, once she began to fall.

She tried to steady herself with fury in her eyes,

. . . and I saw me yelling at you “for letting go”.

If I had truly ‘let go’, my wrist wouldn’t have been so twisted and sore.

I controlled her fall because I needed to help her anticipate the motion.

Now what I need is to learn how t let her ride out of my reach.

I still feel the need to buffer her falls.

It will take much courage and confidence in all I’ve given to her over the years . . .

. . . a great deal of inner strength for me to permit her to test herself.

I knew she’d be angry.

Maybe she will stay angry deep inside, until after she has the pleasure of helping her first child

learn to ride life’s two-wheeler.

I look forward to the moment her fury becomes respect and admiration, as did mine.

More importantly, I wish her the wonderful satisfaction of exploring

her incredible personal strength . . .

. . . of discovering her honest feelings.

I wish her, too, inner tranquility born of the ability to “let go” of all inevitable misunderstandings

natural in the mind of a child.

I know I will continue to be here for her, unconditionally, as you have always been for me.

All I will need, finally, is to find and grasp the power I now was within your reach,

so that I might truly let her ride “too far” out of mine.

© 1994 by N.E.C. Iankowitz