This week has been hard. Most weeks are hard lately, but this week was hard in a different sort of way as I painfully let go of something I loved, in order to hold on tighter to the people I love.
I believe deeply that we all have an obligation to do as much as we can for other people. I also have a very definite type-A personality. Combine those two things and you have the recipe for a chronic uber-volunteer. So naturally when my daughter wanted to become a girl scout 4 years ago, I quickly raised my hand and became the troop leader.
And it’s been so much fun! I love the girls. I love planning activities and outings. I love watching the girls explore and grow. I love it, but the time has come to let it go because it is taking time and energy away from being the best parent I can be to both of my kids – both my son who needs me to be strong and courageous as he battles anxiety and panic, and my daughter who needs me to just be her mom instead of a surrogate mom to other kids.
I struggled with this decision for weeks. It felt selfish and scary and awful. I worried about what the other parents in the troop would think, who would step in behind me to lead the troop, and how my own daughter would feel. I prayed and I worried and I prayed some more. And then I talked to my daughter.
I asked her what she thought and what she wanted. I explained to her what I was feeling. We talked about how most of the time it’s important to make decisions based on the greater good, but sometimes that means doing what is best for ourselves. We cried together as we wondered what to do. In the end we decided together, that it was time for me to let go of the troop.
We made the decision on Sunday evening, and all week I worked slowly through the process of letting go. I have cried every single time I told somebody what was happening. It has been emotional and exhausting and truly hard, but there is no doubt that this needed to be done. The time has come to let go because my own kids need me more than the girls in the troop need me. Right now our little family needs to hold on tighter to each other.
Sometimes we truly do have to let go, to hold on.