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Parenting Balance: Tricky Business

Rachel's beautiful daughter, Sadie

One of the greatest challenges that I’ve had as a parent is letting go.

If I had my choice, I’d keep my children glued to my side for as long as humanly possible. I’ve written before about how difficult it is for me to watch my children grow more independent.

But, I’m lucky enough to have a husband who truly gets me and balances me out. He knows just how to reassure me that giving them a little space is healthy.

And I have a handful of friends who are like sisters…women I admire for their endless parenting wisdom.

My friend Rachel is one of those women. She has this amazing ability to simultaneously encourage her daughter to grow and blossom while keeping her her little girl.

Her daughter, Sadie, one of my daughter’s favorite people, turned five on Wednesday.

Rachel wrote about what Sadie’s birthday meant to her and quoted a passage from If I Could Keep You Little, by Marianne Richmond.

Here’s just a small piece of it…

If I could keep you little, I’d hold your hand everywhere.
But then I’d miss you knowing, “I can go…you stay there.”

If I could keep you little, I’d kiss your cuts and scrapes.
But then I’d miss you learning from your own mistakes.

If I could keep you little, I’d strap you in real tight.
But then I’d miss you swinging from your treetop height.

If I could keep you little,
I’d tell you stories every night.
But then I’d miss you reading the words you’ve learned by sight.

If I could keep you little, I’d push you anywhere.
But then I’d miss you feeling your speed from here to there.

If I could keep you little, I’d pick for you a friend or two.
But then I’d miss you finding friends you like who like you, too!

If I could keep you little, we’d finger paint our art.
But then I’d miss you creating stories from your heart.

If I could keep you little, I’d keep you close to me.
But then I’d miss you growing into who you’re meant to be!

I could barely read the entire passage through my welling tears.

How do you find that perfect middle point, where you keep them close, but encourage them to grow?

This parenting thing is tougher than I ever dreamed it would be.

Thank goodness for those lovely people in my life who encourage me to find balance.

You can also find Nichole over at in these small moments and on Facebook and Twitter too!


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