There comes a time when the worries and frets of years past don’t seem quite as urgent as they used to. Sure, we still have deadlines and challenges, but once in a while, we surprise ourselves by actually sitting back and saying, “You go ahead and handle it; I know that you can!”
Psychologist Evelyn Bassoff describes this as “parallel tasks… a mutual awareness and … awe of the others’ otherness.” Many of us started to notice this as our children approached adolescence at the same time as we approached middle age, and we’ve been striving for a delicate balance ever since.
We’ve always thought the most difficult part of parenting is knowing when and how much to let go, when and how much to reel out a little more line. Truth be told, it isn’t always up to us… our children let us know when they’re ready and we are simply along for the ride!
At no time is this more evident than during the holiday season, like at last week’s Thanksgiving. We were at first cautiously amused and then relieved and then overjoyed to see the next generation taking over some of the traditions and tasks of family celebrations. Although this often means letting go of old rituals and reveling in new ones, it’s amazing to see what lasts, what funnels through. Making Grandmama’s pecan pie or Grandma Julia’s stuffing, asking everyone to say what they’re thankful for, insisting on certain traditional dishes that just have to be on the table….. these are all ways we see customs being passed to the next generation. And it feels good, like we’ve earned the right to step back from all the “have to’s” and let the scene just wash over us!
And in that vein, as much as we love sharing recipes with you all, we’re going to skip that today; we’re going to take a breath, smile, and just let go.