Since I birthed my Wonderful Son, I always knew I would be that attachment parenting Mama, who also let my son be him. As he grew, I held on as I let go. I nurtured, cuddled, and set boundaries, while allowing him to explore more as he grew. Now as he is a 9-and-a-half-year-young boy, I’m holding on while letting go.
Today he asked to walk to the school bus with a group of other students. We were running behind, so we didn’t see them. Then that moment came when he asked if he could walk down the block on his own. This is how the story went:
Son: “Mommy, do you think you can let me walk down to the school bus by myself.”
Me: “Maybe. What, am I giving you too many hugs and kisses in front of everyone,” lol.
Son: “No, I’m just a big boy now and I can do it myself.”
Me: “Hmmm, yes you are. Let’s see where you mean.”
Walking to the Crossing Guards.
Me: “I’m gonna put my stuff down right here and walk you down the block.”
Son: “Can I walk down myself?”
Me: “Sure, but I’m gonna watch. Make sure you don’t cross the street unless the crossing guard is there.”
Son agrees, we share hugs and kisses.
Me: “Have a good day.”
Son runs down the block. I’m watching, getting ready to stand on the stoop in front of a random house, instead I walk out to the street to see if I can spot him.
Crossing Guard: “He’ll be fine. Once the other crossing guards see him they’ll make sure he gets across the street.”
Me: Walking in the street to see, staring at the buses, see the buses but no children. Walk over to stand on the stoop by the random house when Crossing Guard speaks.
Crossing Guard: “He’ll be fine. Once the crossing guards see him they’ll make sure he gets across the street. There are lot’s of people down there, he’ll be fine.”
Me: “I know, thank you.” Smiling I say, “Have a good day.”
Me walking up the block.
Thought process: “Hmmm, I wonder who’s down there I can call to make sure he made it? I wonder who I can text? Hmmm.”
I sat down on a random bench.
“Hmmm, naw, he’s fine. I’ll just call the school at 8:30 and check to make sure he made it to school. OMG, what if he didn’t make it down the block. What if, what if, what if… Lord Jesus help me.”
I walked to the coffee shop and sent a text to the morning school bus coordinator. Her return text read: “G’s at school.”
Me: “Thank you ”
Now I’m not suggesting you allow your children to walk alone. This is a familiar street to us, with many families from my son’s school living on the block. It’s a block away from the school bus drop off location with several crossing guards and parents along the way. We’ve been seeing more parents allow their children to walk on their own, and now my son felt it was his time.
After many years of meditation, I’ve learned to witness my thoughts and emotions, in that moment they were panic. After the fact they were hilarious. I can’t say that I’ll let him walk individually again. I’m thinking we’ll either let him start at a different location so I can see more clearly, or meet up with the other students along the way.
For me letting go is important as long as I continue to love, guide and nurture. I’m convincing myself here.
Thank you in sharing in this journey with us.