So much of my life as a mother is sorting out when to step in, and when to give them room. In the morning I say goodbye to Cal a few feet shy of the classroom door, as he now wants to do, or at least wants to this week, and I’m there to walk him the whole way, should he so desire it.
I still carry him when he’s upset, or tired to the breaking point, to the car after school, up the stairs to bed in the evening, and I feel him become completely calm. I cannot imagine greater satisfaction.
Just before dinner, Abbott wanted to explore the woods around the house. I worried – would he get too far away and not be able to make it back before dark? And gave my permission. He verbally mapped out the woods over dinner, and I was invited to join him next time.
One of my strongest wishes has always been for them to feel like they can express themselves freely to me. I’ve cultivated the phrase, ‘in my opinion’. This week, ‘why’ is killing me. Even so, I’m glad they say it, and will sometimes answer, and sometimes it will be left at ‘because I said so’.
I hope they will always remember the freedom and the pulling close.