Friday, June 22, 2012

It's So Hard to Let Them Go, Isn't It?

My oldest child, my first son, is almost ten years old.  I find that he really wants to be independent already.  It's so difficult, because you want to keep them safe, but they also need to grow.  It's a very fine line, like everything else.

He wants to ride his bike to school, which I allow because he doesn't have to cross any busy streets to get there.  He loves being able to do this on his own.  I was talking with another mom about how she lets her child do this as well.  The husband jumped in, "And can you believe it?  She actually makes him phone her when he gets to the school!"

"That's absolutely ridiculous," I responded incredulously.  "I just go to the school and check that his bike is there so I know he arrived safely!"  Moms, eh?

But some of my son's friends live across busy roads, and now they want him to bike with them there.  I've had to do some safety training about how to cross the roads, and luckily he's cautious.  I hope he keeps that even when he's fifteen!  (He will, right?  Right?  Don't burst my bubble yet.)

Watching him bike away sometimes is hard. (Sometimes? Who am I kidding?  Everytime!)  He still looks so young and vulnerable.  Inwardly I rage at every car that drives too fast down our road, thinking, "Don't you know my son is riding his bike on this road?"

I remember when he was two, watching him walk over to Santa at a Christmas party.  I felt the exact same way.  I could tell he was scared (and who wouldn't be, walking toward a huge man dressed in red with a big beard?) but he walked over anyway.

I guess there will always be milestones like this; all you can do is hope you've prepared them properly.  Somewhat.  Hopefully.  I need a drink.

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