I’m sitting here, in the dining room of one of my sisters. We’re visiting for a few days. The windows are open, a breeze is coming through. I can hear the birds and that bug whose name I can’t ever remember. You know the one, it sort-of buzzes for a couple of seconds and then it stops. They can be seen on trees. Oh whatever! For crying out loud, that is NOT what I intended to write about.
After dropping the kids off this morning, my sister and I sat down – coffee in hand – for a chat. I look to her for advice on many topics. It can be social, medical, educational – you get the idea, if it ends with -al, I need her opinion. When I was pregnant, she was too. We talked a bunch of times every day. It was nice to have someone to commiserate with, even if we only had good things to say. So, all these years later, I still rely on her. Countless situations have arisen leading us to say, “Let’s call Guru Sis.” Even my husband says, “What do you think Guru Sis would do?” And then we call her. The fact that she’s a nurse helps…. a LOT.
So today, Guru Sis, (as I will continue to call her for this post), and I were talking about middle school. In the last few months, I’ve had a crash course in giving my darling child more independence. It took a lot of people to say to me, “Why don’t you let —— do that?” to realize, hey, why don’t I?? It’s time to cut the strings a bit. To let the physical distance between us increase just a bit. It’s tough though. Also, being in the situation that I’m in, with all of the medical drama happening since before my child was even born, has dictated a lot of what happens in our family. It’s tough. But it’s clearly important not to stifle my kid. I mean, come on. Even I, despite wearing glasses, can see that.
So, Guru Sis talked about what I could expect in terms of involvement, really knowing the friends – the whole thing. I can only say that I’m lucky a family of birds or flies didn’t take up residence in my mouth. A chin strap might be in order. I jest, (not really). Guru Sis reminded me of my own independence at just slightly older than my child is. Going off, at 6:20 a.m. to catch a public bus, rain or shine. And it brought tears to my eyes. She is 100% correct.
In September, I – like millions of other parents around the world – will walk my child almost all the way to school. I will let her walk the remaining distance on her own. I’ll trust her judgement. I’ll trust her. Because even though I spend much of my introspective time kicking myself in the head for things I feel that I’ve failed at, I’ve done a good job. My husband and I have done the best we could. We’ve taught, inspired, and led. We’ve misled, we’ve tripped and gotten back up. We’ve done our jobs to this point. And we’ve got a great kid to show for it.
I’m looking forward to Independence Day. Not in July, but in September. It’s bound to terrify and thrill me. But it’ll also be a proud day.
I just have to get some extra Kleenex. Ugh. Thank God for Guru Sis, I couldn’t do it without her. Wish me luck!