Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A Little Independence

The whole point of parenting is to train your children to live without you...right? Hopefully, our kids will grow up and eventually be on their own, although my parents might tell you that children are never really on their own! But nonetheless, that is the goal and I'm just not completely sure I like it. I want to keep Hannah in a safe protected bubble under my watchful eye forever. And I don't see anything wrong with my way of thinking!

Letting go is hard, even the little steps along the way to adulthood. Turning the reigns of life over to a child is scary - there are big bad wolves out there just waiting to pounce on my little red riding hood, I mean, Hannah. Based on how I felt yesterday, I can only imagine how I will handle the day Hannah actually leaves home to truly be on her own. But again, I'm sure my parents will tell me not to worry because if she is anything like me, she we will be back!

Yesterday I let Hannah stay home by herself while I was at work. We agreed she could have a friend over for a few hours and they could go to the neighborhood pool. Summertime for Hannah can be a one big long television fest if we don't plan activities for her. I don't want her just laying around watching TV all day or playing on the computer. She usually goes to my parent's house, but in the spirit of allowing a little bit of independence I agreed to occasionally let her stay home by herself. Her friend came over and Hannah called to tell me the friend had arrived. About 10 minutes later Hannah called to say they were leaving the house to walk to the neighborhood pool. Another call came approximately 5 minutes later to tell me they had arrived at the pool safely. She is such a good girl! About an hour later, my mind started to wander. Are they still having fun at the pool? Will she call again soon just to check in? Are they re-applying sunscreen? Are they still AT the pool? Could something have happened at the pool? "Oh Lord," I prayed, "please keep them safe!" They are safe, right? Maybe I should try to call her. But, she won't hear her phone if they are in the water. But I should try anyway. No answer. I tried again. No answer. I tried her friend's phone. No answer. Maybe something horrible has happened. Maybe I should leave work and go see. Maybe I could call a neighbor to go check on them. I don't think I can breathe! My phone rings. "Hi mom, did you try to call?" THANK YOU JESUS!! She is still AT the pool...having the water...with lots of sunscreen...just like she should be....because after all, she is a pre-teen with just a little independence! Baby steps!

Mercy me, this parenting thing is hard!

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