to our older daughter and led her to time spent alone in her
new backyard. On one such day, I realized that she had climbed
way up into a tree in the corner of our yard. The tug of war
between “protective mommy” and “encourage the risk taking
mom” flitted through my mind as she excitedly shared her
adventure with me. There was a nest way up high. She was so
excited. The “adventure loving, put my fears aside mom” won
out. The “be careful” mom voice was quelled. In hindsight, a
more full integration of the two would have been appropriate.
On Friday night, good friends arrived at our home to
enjoy our new place, and our four girls excitedly ran around to
explore. We were midway through an adult home tour when I
heard the voice of our younger girl. It was frantic and of an
unusual pitch. Her sister had fallen from a tree. “Come now!”
I ran to the tree and what I saw almost stopped my heart. My
tiny sixty-pound girl lay flat on the ground. I know that some
of my auto pilot response was shock, but I also in that moment
knew deep in my soul that undivided and true presence with
my child was critical. Everything else must fall away.
I have practiced and practiced symbolically holding my
children in the palm of my hands and letting them go to God.
As I knelt down beside my precious, barely conscious girl, my
heart and hands let go. I was full of terror, but the raw truth
was this was a situation over which I had absolutely no control.
In that moment I knew in a way I’ve never known before that
I must remain present for my girl and that there were no