My youngest daughter loves to climb. So on Saturday I took her to a professional rock climbing gym. Ten minutes later, with her acrophobic Dad safely planted on terra firma, Ella was at least five stories high, unafraid of her growing distance from the ground and that’s where it struck me..
she’s on her own. I can’t entirely protect her anymore, if I ever truly could. But isn’t that my job…
While she’s only eight, my baby’s getting older. She’s beaten me in chess and can leave me winded behind her in a race. So, I guess I taught her how to fish as opposed to having just given her a fish.
It still pangs me though.
How did this happen so fast? With our first child, I guess I didn’t notice how quickly time was flying by because we had another rising up right behind her. Angela told me that I’d eventually get it. I do now.
But I wanted to move onto the next stage of life. Now…not so sure. Both of my girls are climbing high and I couldn’t be prouder of them. I’m just concerned that if all I’ve ever been is the lead climber for all these years, can I comfortably make the switch to indifferently watch them fall from time to time?
I hope so.
I’m sure I’m not alone here. Any similar thoughts & if so, what’s helped you happily move ahead?
We all should view ourselves as leaders in our children’s lives. However, we should also accept as well as welcome the opportunity when they choose another path. During their climb on another path, they may fall. While we will care that they’ve fallen, we should not pick them up and “save” them for this is when life lessons are learned. And aren’t we raising our children to function successfully in the real world? What will they learn if we catch them every time they fall? Their experience will have more of an impact if they pick themselves up and dust themselves off. By allowing them to fall, we are still leading.
I hear you & agree…it just looks so very easy on paper/screen. Perhaps I’ve grown soft over the years. Thanks my dear friend. Miss u!
You make so many great points in this piece. I think for me so much of my time as a mom had been “to do” for my children. I had to stand back when they said they wanted to do their car seat, or do their own coat. It wasn’t always easy but I did. Now that my oldest is 13 I know my job is to encourage, and be their, but to let him climb is own mountains. It’s not always easy to switch from leader to catcher, I make mistakes, but it is amazing to see my child go as far as he can.
My son is dyslexic and last year felt he was not being given hard enough work, or enough challenges. He told me he wanted to be present at his IEP meeting. My husband and I went with him. It was amazing to see him in the meeting and how he handled himself. I realized that what I had always wanted for him, for him to become his own advocate was happening. I’m just not always happy to find myself being displaced! Lol!
Parenting is such a strange job, we have to do our job well enough so that we are eventually unemployed. Very tough!!! Thanks for your thoughts on this. Great post!
Wow! That’s incredible – how far your son has come! Kudos to you!!
You summed it up incredibly well in your last paragraph. It is tough but all of us would most likely do it again were we to be presented with that option. An odd species we are, no? Much thanks Kathy for your comments!
It is not easy watching them grow up before your eyes…even physically. My fourteen-year-old son literally grew four inches in six months. He is now taller than me, and I’m not a short woman at 5’7″. As I’ve raised three to adults, I’ve learned to let go and even watch them fall from time-to-time. It gets easier the more you experience, but it’s one of the most difficult parts of motherhood…IMO.
Glad to hear it gets easier! Thanks for commenting Kellie & <3'd your "stuck" post on http://www.womenslifelink.com
Thanks, Angela! Loving your site, too! I now get your feed on my Google homepage. And, BTW, my three-year-old loves Super Why!
Excellent to hear!
Love my 3yr old posse!!