Maybe it’s the subtitle, “What My Daughter Taught Me About the Journey Every Parent Must Make,” but I kind of thought David W. Pierce’s book Don’t Let Me Go was a parenting book, sort of an extended metaphor of mountain climbing and the difficulties of being a dad. I mean, I knew by virtue of the back cover that it was about “an ice axe, well-worn running shoes, and two hearts woven together forever” yet I was still surprised to find not worn out clichés of the mountainous challenges we as parents face but instead a heartwarming and sometimes hilarious tale of a dad trying to keep up with a daughter bent on growing up at breakneck speed.
Pierce is a true storyteller and this his memoir of “True Adventures of Climbing Mountains, Running Marathons, and Becoming a Dad” is an honest look at himself as both a dad and a son, his relationship with daughter Chera prompting recollections of his own growing up years. Pierce writes with a great deal of wit and humble self deprecation. Sometimes I laughed out loud at his foibles and other times felt my heart pierced by his honest vulnerability.
There is a great deal of wisdom in Pierce’s story and yes, it is in fact drawn from the mountain metaphor. Consider:
And just what did we learn from all this mountain climbing stuff? We learned about perspective…we learned where to live life. Chera taught me that it’s not always about making it to the summit—it’s about going. The summit is small, usually, and you’re only there for a moment. But the journey… We visit the summits, but we live in the valleys. That’s where we train. That’s where we prepare. That’s where we grow strong.
The bond between father and daughter, parent and child, is at once profound and beautiful. In Don’t Let Me Go Pierce writes with genuine emotion and deep affection for his daughter. It is not merely an account of mountains and backpacks—though it is certainly that, and fascinating. Nor is it, as I surmised, a book of parenting techniques and methods. It is rather a beautiful and heartfelt celebration of the wonder (and heartache) of raising a child in order to, finally, let her go.
Wife and mother, Bible teacher and blogger, Lisa loves Jesus, coffee, dark chocolate and, of course, books. Read more of her reflections at Lisa writes….
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