The moment you realize when the day has come, for you as a mother (or a father), to start ‘letting your child go’. What I mean by this, is when your child ventures out of the nest for the first time on their own, without you there to watch over and guide them. Being out of the home for a few hours out of the day, out of your hands, and out of your supervision. I had no idea how difficult this would be, until the day finally came.
My daughter started Kindergarten. To some, the notion of having to let her go may seem silly, but to me, it’s incredibly difficult, much more difficult than I could of ever possibly imagined. I knew she would start school, but I never fathomed how hard it would be to have her out of my sight for six hours out of the day, until the day came. I must admit that my anxiety goes through the roof every morning when I give her a good-bye hug, kiss and drop her off at school.
The reality is setting in… my baby is growing up. She is learning how to do things on her own, and slowly becoming more independent. This is a good thing, and this isn’t what scares me. What scares me is that I can’t be there with her to protect her. I can’t be there to comfort her if she falls down, makes a mistake, or to guide her when she is having trouble understanding something, or confused. I can’t protect her from other kids who are mean, and who will (and have) hurt her feelings. I can’t protect her from anything that goes on while I’m not there. These thoughts rushing through my mind over and over, only made me realize that this is just the beginning. This is just the first step, the first step to letting her go. The first steps of her venturing off on her own, and starting to see more of the outside world without me there to protect her.
If I can barely handle kindergarten, I don’t know how I’m going to handle the rest of elementary school, middle school, high school, her getting her driver’s license… to her falling in love and having her heart broken for the first time. One day I know she will go to college, and leave the nest… be a young lady who makes her own decisions. I can only do my best to guide her and hope that she makes good choices, and that when she makes bad choices, she learns from them. Perhaps I am jumping way too far ahead of myself, she is only five years old after all, but I feel that this is the beginning of slowly letting her go, and it breaks my heart. I love her so much and don’t want to let her go, but I know that one day I will have to.
It’s just like the scene from Finding Nemo when Marlon says: “I promised him I wouldn’t let anything happen to him” and Dory replies by saying: “Well, that’s a silly promise, because if you never let anything happen to him, then nothing would ever happen to him”.
I want so badly to protect her, from all of the bad in the world, but I can’t shelter her forever, because I want her to also experience all of the wonderful things that life has to offer.