Friday, March 6, 2020

"I Don't Wanna Hold You Back"

My mood was decidedly lighter this morning as I drove to work. I'm not sure if it was the fact that it was a staff development day, which meant a day without kids, or the Keith Urban music blasting on my stereo, but whatever the reason, I felt happy and almost carefree as I steered my car through the streets of town, tapping my fingers on the steering wheel and singing along. Loud. No doubt anyone glancing my way thought I was a wacko, but I didn't care. I felt good.

Then, halfway to work, "Come Back to Me" started playing. Instantly, I reached for the volume knob and turned it up.

Now, let me explain something. I am a huge Keith Urban fan. HUGE. I have listened to his music for years and dragged my husband (not really, he likes him, too) to half a dozen concerts. But when I first heard this particular song, I didn't like it. See, it's a love song about a guy who tells his girl

If you find someone else who deserves you
Hope he loves you enough not to hurt you
But if he does, you know right where I'll be
Come back to me

Quite frankly, the sentiment irritated me. I mean, what a wuss, right? He's going to let her go off, do whatever the hell she wants, and then just sit around and hope she comes back? That's definitely not what I would do. In fact, I used to change the lyrics a tiny bit and sing, "Don't come back to me."

Then, one day I started looking at the song from a different perspective.  I actually found myself sobbing with tears streaming down my face as I sang along:

I wouldn't want
You to miss a thing
I wouldn't wake
You from any dream
You ever have
So, go on, and go, unroll every map
But if you gotta leave
You gotta know
I love you enough
To let you go
If there's greener grass
Hey, I wanna hold you, but I don't wanna hold you back

I wasn't thinking about my husband or some long-lost love. I was thinking about my son. Suddenly, the song took on a whole different meaning as I thought about my child in his final year of high school and beginning to make plans to fly the nest. As incomprehensible as it is to think of him leaving home and heading out into the world on his own, I know that this is what we've been working toward for the past 18 years, and I want him to be free to follow whatever dreams he may have. As much as I know I will miss him, I would never want to hold him back.

This week, Jared received acceptance letters from two colleges. Each letter has been a reminder that our lives will be changed forever in just a few short months. I am excited for him. Truly I am.

I just hope he knows that no matter where his journey takes him, he can always come back to me.


  1. I will check out the song! Isn't it funny how some songs made for romance make you think more about your children? I feel that way with Martina McBride's "I just call you mine"- always thought of my son with the line "You're the dream that I've been chasing". I know a parent's job is to let our kids go but oh my that is hard to do.

    1. Maybe it's because we're moms and we're always thinking about our children? :)

  2. Love that song! But I can see why it first made you mad, and then made you cry. I really enjoyed reading this post. I liked how you started out with a song and then turned the whole story around to a love story about your son. Very sweet.

  3. Great post! Its really wonderful how one little twist in perspective can change your whole outlook.


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