Parenting: Learning how to let go
June 12, 2012 (WPVI) -- The toughest part of parenting is letting go but it's also the essence of parenting.
This month is a time for many transitions in our home. As I write this, our oldest son, Jason, is camping out with friends at a four-day music festival in North Carolina.
He drove there himself and met up with the others who are sharing a campsite. He texted to say he got there safely and that "camping is fun." Needless to say, all sorts of scenarios of the awful things that could happen are running through my head. However, he's 19 and it was time to let him do something like this (I think, I hope, I guess)
Meantime, our 16-year-old son Billy got his learner's permit last week and had his first driving lesson. Last night, he drove himself (with me gripping the armrests in the passenger seat) to his piano lesson. Helping your children learn to drive is one of the most nerve-wracking parts of parenting. Fact is, my husband won't do it so we're paying for driving school, gripping those armrests, and hoping we all get through this learning experience unscathed.
Finally, Micah, my youngest, is graduating from elementary school next week. I've had sons in the same elementary school continuously for 13 years. It's a wonderful place, with excellent teachers. It's also a school where I've always felt the kids not only learned, but were protected.
The middle school's great, too, but it's not the same cocoon. Recently I learned that some of the eighth-graders had been caught drinking and it's scary to think of my "baby" in a school with those "big kids." However again, it's time. He can't stay in fifth grade forever and we just have to hope that his friends continue to be the "good kids" they are now.
My mom always said it was a parent's job to give children roots to grow and wings to fly. Truer words were never spoken but that doesn't mean it's easy. If it were, there wouldn't be so many advice books and online articles for parents about the subject.
Somehow, my parents let me meet camp friends for weekends in New York when I was a teen, go to college in Chicago, drive myself to a three-month newspaper internship in Florida and take my first job in Iowa. Now it's our turn but if no one minds, I'm just going to keep gripping those armrests for a while longer.
amy buckman parenting reports, parenting, amy buckman
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