Parenting has two conflicting roles, nurturing, but also supporting a child’s independence and building up his own personality. It can be very painful to go from one to another.
Something different happened today, when I brought little J to school she completely forgot about me. She usually asks me to stay for awhile when I bring her to school, but not this time. When we got in the school as soon as she saw her teacher she forgot about me. I was still there in her classroom fixing her school bag and lunch box in her cubbie when she left me. She just left me! Can you believe that?
She didn't even ask permission if she can go already, she didn't even remembered to say goodbye. She just went out the classroom and hurriedly went to the AVR to join her classmates with their circles. So I followed her to the AVR and called her to ask for my goodbye kiss. So I called her name and said, "Kiss" to remind her to kiss me goodbye before I leave for the office. And you know what happened when I said "kiss?". She turned to her teacher and went to kiss her. She completely forgot about me!!! Ouch! So her teacher said, "No, its Mommy who is asking for a kiss. Go and kiss mommy." So she went to me and gave me a kiss. I may be over reacting a bit, but when that happened, I suddenly had flash backs of her first day of school, when she was crying and wont even let go of my hand. I stayed in her classroom as they sing, play and study, the whole day still holding my hand. I remembered how she cried for weeks when I leave her in school.
Somehow I am happy because of her new found independence. She felt comfortable of not having me around, she felt at least with her teachers and classmates. Yes, that is what I wanted for her to learn. To realize that there is a lot more in the world than mommy. I am proud of my little angel. She grew up, that's what it is. Not a baby anymore. Now she is ready to face other challenges, first school, making friends, having dreams, crushes, high school, college, work. Oh no! Im going too fast now, it will take years before that happens.
It hurts to lose your baby, but its is also empowering, pride, achievement. Yes, we have conquered this first step, there is still a lot of steps to get to the end, she may be confident enough to conquer it all, but one thing is for sure, I will aways be at her back pushing her up, or by her side holding her hand or in front of her pulling her little hands to reach that top. There are times that she will acknowledge my presence, there will be times that she will forget. But even if she does, I will still be with her. Letting go is hard, but its what we all parents have to go through to train them for their future.
Tips for letting go:
Allow your child to try to do things for himself – even if means making a mess. This may mean spending more time at the table as he tries to feed himself, or him wearing an outfit that you don’t really like. But giving him independence will help in the long run.
Listen to your child – if you're treating him as a baby, he may well tell you. You need to make sure you take note.
Don’t hover – let your child know that you're there if needed, but that you’re also giving him the space he needs.