Guest Post- ‘Hold Them Close Whilst Letting Go’

by Lori Dwyer on October 9, 2012 · 6 comments

It’s been a while. But I do believe it’s come time for an occasional guest poster here on RRSAHM. 

Welcome to the first. Jellybeans- meet Danielle.


I can remember the very first time my son, D Man, hurt himself on my watch. It was one of those split second, yet slow motion, affairs that consisted of him rolling off the bed at about 6 months old.
His fall was broken by an open cupboard door and he kind of rolled onto the floor without injury, but he got a fright and bawled, and I felt like the worst Mama ever.

He got over it in minutes, I was fine in a few hours and a glass of wine and the world kept turning. Now, barely a day goes by without some form of head injury, and for the most part they are nothing serious…..but when it is a bit more serious, and that silent scream prefaces the tears, in that instant, I know that I would take all of my child’s pain if I could and make them feel better.

I can remember my very first heart-break. I was about 11, and I’d been a rat-bag, scallywag and had been kissing Matthew Forsyth under water at the local pool, as you do.
When Matthew told everybody and I was branded a scarlet woman, I was devastated.
I remember heaving with the big sobs, whilst sitting on my mum’s partner’s lap, explaining my childish indiscretion.
His sage words of advise were along the lines of – Boys suck.

They took my heartbreak so seriously, and Mum soothed away my tears and snot, much the same as she did many times over the later years when someone had broken my heart.

One time in particular, I did not feel I would ever be OK again, and when I read Lori’s recent post about feeling normal again I was reminded deeply of this time.

It was a fairly dramatic sort of an episode whereby my de-facto boyfriend lived a double-life right under my nose. He had another girlfriend, another life and an ugly, secret drug habit, and when over a period of a month I unravelled his tangled web, he felt cornered and attempted suicide in a very dramatic, and messy fashion.
All came to a head one fateful night and come the light of dawn, sitting in St Vincent’s Hospital, I felt I would never be able to trust, love or feel normal again.
I ran home to the nest in another state, and when released from hospital he was taken away by his family and I never saw him again.

I actually couldn’t get my head around it, how my intuition could fail me so drastically and I couldn’t see what was happening, and I remember the look on my mum’s face as she watched me breaking into a million little pieces on her red chaise.
Her face said if she could, she would take it all from my shoulders, she would wear my pain like a cloak every day of her life, if it took it away from me right that instant.

That’s how I now feel about my children.

I don’t want them to ever be bullied or told they’re fat, or stupid or ugly, like kids inevitably do in the school yard.
I don’t want anyone to ever break their precious hearts, and cause that searing, breathtaking pain.
I don’t want them to break bones, or need stitches or make stupid mistakes that may land them in perilous, hot water.

With the advent of the Jill Meagher case, it’s made me realise that it’s such a big, crazy world out there and, in fact, I’d like to just ball my babies up and put them back, safe, in my womb, but I dare say that now that there’s two of them, and they don’t travel without favorite toys and gumboots, it would be a tad squishy, and frankly, I don’t think my back, or uterus for that matter, could take the strain.

I’d love to just protect them from all of life’s pain and awful bits, but in reality, of course, I can’t do that. I mean, my philosophy is that children are never actually even really ours, they’re just on loan, so by my own ethos, I crave the impossible.

I have to let them go.
Little by little, every day, I have to let them assert their independence and let them go….the letting go begins almost the second they are out of your body.
I just have to do my very best to teach them and then trust that I have given them the tools they need to navigate the oceans ahead, and that they Captain their ships wisely, whilst I stand back on the shore, ready at any time to sooth their fears and wipe their salty tears.

Another thing I must bear in mind is that all of those not-so-nice pieces, helped make the jigsaw puzzle that is me. It’s all part of the tapestry and the tough bits gave me strength of character.
Of course, I wish my children to have great strength of character, for all the best people have it in spades.


I am a wife, a mother, a photographic enthusiast, a kitch
en cowboy and a person who finds it easy to laugh at herself – in no particular order.

I love being a mother. Something happened the day my son was born and my capacity for love grew through the roof. I never realised your heart could exist outside your body, but it does. Now, I have two sproglets and I’m looking forward to seeing how big my heart can grow before it simply bursts.
So, without further ado, I welcome to you to the contents of my head…..and my pantry, if you’re in need of foodie inspiration.
I hope you enjoy the ride.

You can find Danielle here on her blog, FaceBook, Pinterest and the ‘Tube.

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

cynthia@Talking to toddlers October 12, 2012 at 12:59 am

Wow, that's exactly how I feel about my kids. I am afraid that they'd get hurt, that they'd struggle or that they'd even have to think of adult problems when the time comes. I want to protect them forever, but I know that this is not possible and all I can do is to teach them how to survive life, then hope for the best with fingers crossed.


Online Wine Australia October 11, 2012 at 6:17 pm

Your post is so helpful for us..I really enjoy this post so much..Thanks for sharing this blog for all of us..:-)


Trisha October 11, 2012 at 12:04 am

This is such a beautiful post, and so true. But it's a very human thing, isn't it, to want to prevent those we love from coming to harm.


Danielle Colley October 9, 2012 at 8:04 pm

Thanks for having me! Pleased you liked it, guys. I totally agree on the kissing it better….. I hope it never stops but I've never seen a grown up do it!!!


Wanderlust October 9, 2012 at 3:13 pm

Danielle, this is really beautiful. I love how you love your kids. And your description of feeling like you could never trust your intuition again because of all you didn't see — oh, I so get that. Get it in a very deep, primal way. That's a trust I've been learning to gain back the past couple of years. Thanks for sharing your story.


Spagsy October 9, 2012 at 2:15 pm

Nice one Danielle. I was just telling my sister in law that my favourite trick as a mother is the ability to kiss it all better… I can't describe the sweet warmth that comes over me when i say "is that better?" and my son stops crying and says "thanks mum"


Previous post:

Next post: