Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Independence and Letting go

I made a decision yesterday after much prodding and begging from JJ.  I hope I don’t regret it.  JJ wants to walk to and from school alone.  Its not a long distance, it is a 4 minute walk and only 10 houses away.  The boys next door who are 9 and 10 have walked alone for a couple of years.  So why am I so nervous then?
Its a new neighbourhood, and I guess its just the mother bear in me, I want to protect, to make sure that he is safe and sound.  Its also a bit of a control issue.  If he walks home with me I can help control the walk, does he look both ways before he steps off the curb, is he aware of his surroundings? If he isn’t I sure am!
He is spreading his wings, he wants to be like his friends most of which all walk to school and he wants some independence too.  And I am learning a lesson on letting go.  Its been 19 yrs since I have had this internal tug of war.  I think it’s harder this time around because its been so long in between. 
He was so excited when he asked me yesterday, the only other times I see that type of excitement is when he gets some new star wars Lego.  I didn’t jump and say “no” right away, I held back and asked him questions: – why did he want to walk alone – what would he do if someone tried to talk to him – what would he do if someone suddenly jumped out of a car and tried to put him in it – Not easy questions, but they need to be asked again because its been a while since we have had a talk like that.  I decided we would try it this week and see how it goes.  It all depends on him if he gets to do it every day or not.
The rules are that he must come straight home, no dilly dallying at school talking to his friends and he must be home by 3:15.. or I will come looking for him and he looses the privilege.   I told him this morning that he should ask the boys next door to come by when they leave for school and then they could all walk together.  That would make me feel better….  School gets out in another 3 hours so I am anxiously waiting to see how day one of Independence Day goes.  Keeping my fingers crossed that I made the right decision.

As a side note.. JJ made it home safe and sound !

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