Today marks a special day - J is going to "school", which is really a home daycare with a small group of kids and an emphasis on early learning, since he's still too young for proper preschool. But, this is the first time he'll be truly "on his own" - ie. not with me, not with his nanny, not with his dad or grammy. My heart is kind of in my throat when I think about it but I know it's the right place for him. He's ready for the next step.
Yesterday, my 16 year old stepson took the bus home from NYC alone. He had been there with his aunt and uncle but needed to come back before them to get back to school. He's a competent, independent kid - who has flown to/from Brazil on his own since he was 14 - and I never much doubted his ability to navigate the trip back from NYC. As we were chatting on our drive home and I was telling him about my angst related to J's first day without us, he calmly said - "but you're not thinking of all the good things". Ahh. So simple and so true. It's so easy to worry. For our minds to start imagining every worst case scenario. But what about imagining him at the school, making friends, doing art, ....thriving!
It was a great reminder. And so, today, I let go a little bit of my baby. I send him out knowing full well that he's capable to do the task at hand. I remind myself of one of the most basic tenants of parenting, not to hold on to them forever but to teach them to soar without us. We give our children gifts when we ask of them, when we don't make it easy, when we don't settle. Goodluck, Baby J!