The next several days, I want you to hear from several mothers and what is on their heart. They are my friends and they are all beautiful mothers. We are all in this together. Let’s grow together in this journey. Much love – Courtney
Slowly Letting Go
by Carla Fain
So, this guy right here is turning 10 soon…like too soon for me. I can’t even talk about it without getting teary. Davis is my first born son and it’s true that he is my heart living outside my body. I love him so much and am so proud of the boy/young man he is becoming.
Besides being adorably handsome (his dimples melt me!), he’s sweet, funny, kind, loving, athletic, super smart, I could go on and on. He really is one amazing kid and I just adore him. Now, he’s not perfect. He’s the oldest, so with that comes all the type-A personality traits…controlling being one. He doesn’t do well with transitions, so we have to make sure he knows exactly how long he has until he must move on to the next thing. Funny that he’s been that way his whole life…even as a baby. He likes his Legos JUST SO and no one, not even little brother can touch them or even mom when mom must dust the Lego shelf (his room is a little dusty because of this!). But, being type-A means that he’s also responsible, a major rule follower, a little bossy, and becoming more independent.
That last part is what momma is struggling with. I mentioned he’s turning 10 soon. Well, this whole becoming independent thing is getting hard for me. Like, right now, he’s riding his bike around the neighborhood…WITHOUT ME! Yes, he’s with a buddy. But still, no adult with him. We live in a safe neighborhood and we have a rule that he has to check in every lap – which being a rule follower he does. Some of you will not agree with me on this, and I totally feel you and understand and respect that. My husband isn’t necessarily a fan of this either but we’ve agreed that Davis needs to spread his wings a little, even though we want to keep him in the nest forever.
Don’t we all want to keep them in the nest forever?!?!
This gaining independence started a few months ago, when Thursday afternoons were a bit hectic. One kid stayed after school until 3:20. Another had piano from 3-3:30pm and Davis had mountains of homework with a golf lesson at 4pm. He would ride with me to drop off one, pick up the other, pick up the first one, then back home super quick then head to golf. But homework was being pushed to the back burner until 5pm and then it was “hurry up and just get it done” so we could eat dinner and get ready for bed. One day he asked if he could stay home by himself. He said, “It’s only 35 minutes, Mom. We could be on the phone the whole time. I’ll do my homework the entire time and Ms. Lisa is right across the street. Lots of my friends stay alone for a little while.” Hmmmm. It was tempting. I’m not one to cave to peer pressure AT ALL. I don’t care what other moms are doing…I mean, I like getting advice and sorting out what doesn’t work for our family, but I wasn’t tempted because of that. I was tempted because HE wanted to do it, HE felt ready to do it, and wasn’t scared to be alone, and it meant that he could do his homework and not be shuttled around with me while running the other 2 around.
So, we tried it. I called my BFF Lisa across the street and told her what we were trying. I called the house phone from my cell phone and we were both on speaker phone the entire way to piano, to school, back to piano, and home again. It literally was 35 minutes. I kept saying, “are you there? Are you alright? I can come home and B’s mom can bring G home? Are you sure??” My heart was pounding the entire time because all I wanted was to get back to my baby. I mean, didn’t he need me back home to be with him?? Of course, being my responsible one, he did his homework, got himself dressed for golf, and ate a snack while I was gone. He didn’t need me. And I was a bit crushed. But, on the other hand, I was terribly proud. My son, just stayed at home for the first time and did great. He wasn’t scared. He was responsible. He did what I asked of him, he took care of himself.
Isn’t my goal as a mom?
To prepare him for the real world?
To teach him to be responsible and to take care of himself?
I have lots of other goals for him, but this whole independence/responsibility thing is a big one for the tween years that are quickly approaching. He needs to be empowered a bit and to know that we trust him and he has to gain our trust so that he can do more things independently from us.
In order for him to be confident in that, and to gain our trust, I have to let him spread his wings…even though as his momma, I want him to stay close in the nest. But eventually, I’ll have to trust God’s word:
Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it. Proverbs 22:6 NIV
I can’t keep him protected forever, but for now, we’ll keep taking baby steps toward his increasing independence.
Oh and the whole time I’ve been writing, he’s checked back in twice, with 2 buddies in tow now. J
I think I’ll go offer those cute boys some cookies and water.