Lynn Ciesielski, “How to Let Go of a Grown Child”

Lynn Ciesielski
HOW TO LET GO OF A GROWN CHILD

1
Don’t call her every night just to check in.

2
Don’t cancel plans waiting for her to call.

3
Don’t drive past her apartment at midnight
to see if her car is in the driveway.

4
Paint over purple walls in her old bedroom.
Use primer, three thick coats in a neutral color.

5
Peel plastic “starry night” off bedroom ceiling.

6
Remove school photos from wall and mantel.
Put them in box with dance award certificates.

7
Eat the ice cream sundaes with caramel topping
and whipped cream you’ve avoided for twenty
years of setting good examples.

8
Give up thinking each time you decide on a date,
I wonder how my daughter would feel about it.

9
Avoid Junior’s Departments in clothing stores.
Ignore second pair half off sales on low rise jeans.

10
Write down your regrets. Fold into an airplane.
Throw it off a bridge.

Author’s comment: I raised my daughter, an only child, by myself. We enjoyed an extremely close relationship although she did rebel a fair amount. When she moved out three years ago, I had a terrible case of “empty nest syndrome”. Until I met the man who is now my husband, I was very lonely without her. I am embarrassed to admit that a few points I made in the poem were real. My daughter and I still talk on the phone nearly every day.

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4 thoughts on “Lynn Ciesielski, “How to Let Go of a Grown Child”

  1. I have two “boys” in college now, one about to graduate. I do all of these things (more or less), but I’m still wondering when it will “feel” like we have started to let go.

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