Tuesday, April 29, 2014

How a song reminded me of the beauty in release

On Saturday, my oldest daughter's choir sang a haunting melody about giving a loved one the freedom to fly away from you and to trust that they will, in the end, come home to you somehow.

It seems that just yesterday I was the eighth grader struggling against the cocoon to become my own person. Now, I am part of the cocoon that my young adults must struggle against to become who they are.

Some days I just want to close my eyes and wake up in the middle of their adult lives and breathe a sigh of "Whew! We made it"

But, before I can even finish that thought I practically hyperventilate at the thought of my children gone from home. How can this be happening already?  Gone from home? Not yet!

As they sang their choir song, a memory came to me.

Once upon a time in college, I was broken-hearted, lonely, and sad. I had friends but our schedules no longer easily overlapped. It was tough to even make them touch occasionally. I was quite lonely. Then, I met a kind boy. He befriended me. He pursued me. His friendship brought healing to my heart.

Over time, I began to flourish. I wasn't needy in the same overt ways.

I had changed but he didn't know what to do.

He began to smother me. He put me in a box. He wanted me to be the person he'd first met: needy and overly dependent. He couldn't let me be the true me because it wasn't the me he'd known. I no longer fit in the box of who he thought I was.

The weight of this box stifled me. I couldn't breathe. Something had to break: the box, the relationship, or me.

I didn't want the relationship to break because I was quite grateful for his friendship that had given my lonely heart hope. But eventually, though, the relationship broke.

That experience created a strong resolve within me to never confine or stifle anyone like that. It is better to let them be who they are even if it means they can't be with me.

The beautiful, haunting melody of Saturday filled my ears and my heart. As the choir sang, I thought of stifling, confining boxes. I thought of how much I hated them.

Then, I thought of emerging butterflies and the beauty of watching them fly.

I need to let my children become the people that they are even if they are not the people I knew before or who I think they are.

This is the way of letting my children unfold before me even though it means they will fly away from me someday soon.

It would be much better to merely watch the beauty of the butterfly flit around me for a few moments on its journey rather than to crush it in my hands because I so desperately want to keep it for myself.

It means there is struggle in the cocoon of home as they discover who they are. There is struggle as I discover my different role as I begin to release them to the world, careful not to crush their emerging wings, careful not to keep them to myself.

Their beauty is to be shared.

A quiet wave of peace settled over me as I thought of my young adults that need to fly from me. I became transformed from either holding my breath or hyper-ventilating to being able to delight in these remaining flitting moments of these butterflies as they practice their nearby soaring before they take off on their own.

And I can trust that they will find their way back to me somehow.

Have you ever had a similar experience either being stifled, or being released to become your beautiful self or been inspired through a beautiful song? Music inspires writing for me, how about you? Click here if you would like to comment in the blog community.
Linking with Jen at SDG.


  1. Beautiful post, beautiful family.

  2. "Now, I am part of the cocoon that my young adults must struggle against to become who they are."

    How does this happen so fast? I feel like I should still be the young adult myself. But instead, both my kids are fairly independent now and come "home" only to visit. But that's how it needs to be; I do believe that too. It's definitely better to let them become the butterfly they're meant to be. "Their beauty is to be shared." Indeed there is peace in that. Thanks, Kathleen.

    1. Oh, time is not a good measure of things. I, too, feel like I am still becoming.


Thanks for being part of the conversation...I love hearing from you. Kathleen

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