I offered my hand to Elijah when we approached the crosswalk, but he didn't take it. It's just habit I suppose, my reaching out to help him maneuver the obvious dangers of distracted drivers and their speeding vehicles. I am pretty good at that - protecting the children from being flattened by oncoming traffic, but what has recently thrown me for a real heck of a loop has been my eldest son's desire for a bit of space to assert some independence and start making a few of his own judgment calls. After many years of taking continuous inventory of my young family ("O.K there's Elijah; Priscilla is walking with Mary; wait...where's Benjamin? Come back here, Ben, right now and stay where I can see you!"), I'm not quite sure how to quit the intensive surveillance of at least one my kid's who assures me that he is ready to go to his friends' house, the park, to the library alone. I'd just assumed we'd never actually make it to this part: the stage of brooding adolescence where the pitfalls are less tangible but somehow so much more frightening to this mother on a precipice staring down into breathtaking and unexplored canyons of parenthood. What else can I do but venture forward and learn as I go?
1 week ago