It was hard for me to take it off my book list, hard also to place it in the library return bin.
A simple picture book, Umbrella. It's hauntingly beautiful and I want it.....and I don't.
Brian and I talked over why we like it so much (the kids liked it, too). Because the author simply portrays a painful truth of parenthood...letting go.
In the book a three year-old girl waits impatiently to wear her new rain boots and carry her new umbrella. When it finally rains and she carries the umbrella and wears the boots to and from nursery school, she is so proud that she is walking like a lady. But to her parents, it is the first day they walk with her without holding her hand. And now at eight years-old, she doesn't even remember.
But her parents do.
At 3:29 a.m. on Tuesday morning, my first nephew was born. I watched my sister become a mother, my brother-in-law become a father, and even me become an auntie.
The pain, the bearing down, the waiting, the encouragement, the concern, the hope, the sweat, and the release. New life burst forth and it was miraculous, spectacular, humbling. He is exquisitely formed. In just that act came so many new sets of letting go.
Leaving the protection of the womb.
His daddy cutting cord-connection to mama.
The closing of the womb.
And yet there's a new closeness, a different connection.
He won't remember these moments, yet they're etched in his parents' memories eternally.
And as that afternoon I cuddle my own babe, now slowly turning to tot, not knowing if this cuddle-to-sleep will be the last one we experience, I pray for you, my beautiful sissy and good brother-in-law, that this journey of parenthood will indeed by a holy experience of loving and letting go.