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Never Letting Go
Tomorrow Rent-a-Dad and I will be attending our local DCS Foster Parent Conference. So tonight we have been getting ready by making sure we have pen, paper, and of course directions. As Rent-a-Dad is making sure our GPS is set up in our car, I decided to note down what classes we want to take. There is one class that we have been discussing for some time: Loving and Letting Go.
The title of the class is rather ironic to us but for one main reason. So far we have not learned how to love and let go. In fact we are in contact with not only the children and immediate families of each of our former placements but also extended family members. So far loving and letting go just hasn’t worked out for us, nor do we want it to!
So why take the class?
Sadly we both know that our track record won’t remain perfect. At some point we will have a placement where we won’t be able to remain in contact. While we don’t know what kind of circumstances those will be, because for us it is hard to imagine, we are certain it will come to pass. So taking this class is preparing for the inevitable.
The thought of loving and letting go being inevitable seems sad but it is something we all do throughout our lives. Even though it is something we each experience it is not something we ever want to get used to. By taking the class the hope is to gain some new techniques that will help us cope when it becomes necessary to let go.
There are certain arrangements of words that seem to call to each of us. Recalling back to childhood the phrase that I always called my mantra came from Shakespeare. Hamlet was one of my mom’s favorite plays so I often heard this line. I just always wanted to attribute it to one of his other plays because Hamlet hurts my head, heart, and soul. The line, from Polonius, is “This above all: to thine own self be true”
In my heart of hearts, I know I will never be good at loving and letting go. Doesn’t matter how many coping mechanisms I put in place or the classes I take. I still think of every child I have ever cared for from distant relations to children of dear friends. Not to mention all of the kids in programs I have helped operate over the years.
Letting go is never easy, not for me. Above all else I know this about myself.
Since becoming a foster parent there have been additional phrases, idioms, and quotes that have called to me. Some of the Disney re-writing of Winnie the Pooh has been quite inspirational. In fact a few of the quotes grace the spare bedroom wall where most of our placements have slept.
“You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” As said by Christopher Robin in “Pooh’s Grand Adventure: the Search for Christopher Robin.
When Rent-a-Dad and I re-decorated our spare room we felt that quote needed a prominent space. Even if the children who sleep in that room can not read it is the quote we feel that needs to define their life. It is a quote we feel the need to read to them each night. When we ourselves feel sad and a bit lost, it is a quote we need to read to bring us strength.
In the past couple of months I have found that another adaptation of literary lines to be equally meaningful in my life. It just so happens that the line was also adapted by Disney. Although which movie it hails from is still being debated on the internet.
“Never say goodbye because saying goodbye means going away, and going away means forgetting.” As said by Peter Pan. Adapted from J.M. Barrie’s novel.
As a foster parent I feel it is my duty to never forget. While some of the little loves who pass through our doors, and lives, may never be old enough to remember their time in our home, we will never forget them! We will ALWAYS love them! And even though time and space may separate us, we will never truly let them go.