My daughter Nia loves music. Lots of people I know love music; you probably love it yourself. Nia majored in music in college, and she now works as a choir director at a local Episcopal church. Since Nia and I both have church jobs, we were both given the opportunity to attend a three-day workshop presented by Music that Makes Community. Paul Vasile, Chandra Rule, Michael Atty, and Monica Marie presented an incredible seminar on paperless music. Check out their website and get inspired!
It’s no secret that I love spending time with my girls. Now that two of them are adults, we find that we look for ways to spend more time together. It’s particularly rewarding to watch Nia in these professional settings as she continues to grow and shine as a performer and leader.
On the last day of the workshop, Paul asked us to turn to our neighbor and talk about what goal we had with the skills we’d learned that week. I turned to Nia and asked, “Do you want me to find a different partner?”
Silence. Don’t kids know yet that silence is an answer? I waited it out. After a few more seconds, the verbal response followed the silent one.
I smiled and set off to find another partner. Folks were pairing up quickly, but I soon found a partner in a young woman who used to attend Calvary. She’d been in my Godly Play class but had stopped coming to church when her mom experienced a healthy dose of Life. We enjoyed our conversation about her goal of using this music on a farm where she works as an Americorps volunteer.
Paul called us back and asked us to share what we learned about our partner’s goals. Nia’s partner Michael raised his hand. Michael was one of the talented presenters from the weekend with an amazingly beautiful voice. “Nia wants to find her power as a talented black woman as she starts work in her new job as a choir director. I plan to check on her in a year and find out all the amazing things she’s doing with that group.”
Letting go of your child can be easy sometimes, and sometimes it’s tough to believe that anyone else could care more about your child than you do. It’s challenging and nearly impossible to watch your child struggle and fail. But here’s what also happens when you let go. You make space for others to come in and support your child in ways you can’t or would never have thought of. Not only did Nia receive affirmation as a performer and worship leader, but she also got an accountability partner. Letting go and making space for others to influence your child will bless them in inconceivable ways.
If I hadn’t offered Nia the chance to find another partner, she wouldn’t have asked me to switch. I want her to know that it’s okay for her to ask for what she needs. It’s also okay for me to still know that the spirit can guide my parenting of my adult children. Thank goodness she trusts that I have her best interests in my heart as I push her out of the nest over and over again.
How have you let your children go? What happened when you did?