My daughter has recently started taking several steps in a row. Seven or eight. But only when I have been holding her hands, hugging her, or otherwise balancing her, will she take that many in a row. If she is walking to me, she'll only take 3 or 4. As I was trying not to get my feelings hurt about that and wondering why, I realized that in my arms, she feels safe. I know her best and know how to help her balance best. So when I send her off, she feels confident to go explore her world. When someone else is helping her walk, she is less confident.
Wow, what an analogy for life. My role as a mom is as her harbor. I give her strength and confidence that no one else can. She can go farther and accomplish more from my arms than from anyone else's. But I have to watch her walk away so she can go explore the world, just as a ship leaves its safe port to go on new adventures. And sometimes watching her go hurts. But it is a clean pain, a proud pain, a pain that comes with it a great sense of love and peace that I am helping her accomplish what she was meant to do. I hope and pray I can remember this throughout her life, that only when I am helping her go out and do what she was meant to do, will I be accomplishing my role of parenting her the way God meant me to. Like wet sand held in my hand: not too tightly so that she would slip away and be no longer mine, but loosely, to fly where she will with my blessing, yet knowing I will always be her strength and confidence so she will always feel at home in my arms.