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Letting Him Go

All along I’ve been letting him go. When he was a baby, I let our friends take him to the mall. We encourage him to order his own soft pretzel or nuggets. I ask him if he could go to the deli and place the order for the sandwich meats. And today, I’m letting him walk home from the library by himself. I’m letting him go slowly.

crosswalk from Letting Him Go on Shalavee.com

He’s nine now. You can see the library from our house. And if you were to go the long way, down the street, across, down the street, across, you’d pass the sheriff’s office. The great big cross walk we use is well traversed. And he’s seen Big Bird get yelled at for not crossing at the sidewalk. Gordon said, there may not be a next time Big Bird.  Hopefully, Eamon will look both ways.

This morning, I knew that he may need some alone time with me. Little girl went to daycare. He reached out to hold my hand on the way to the bank en route to the library. And then I let him go. Because his coping ability will depend on his trust in himself and his capabilities. That is my gift to him.

Big Boy from Letting Him Go on Shalavee.com

The opposite is true too. Were I to not allow him to go out and discover who he is and what he’s capable of, he’d think I was saying he was incapable. Sometimes mothers forget what their job really is. And as I re-parent myself these days, I am aware of what he needs to fly to his freedom.

His Wings.

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11 Responses to “Letting Him Go”

  1. Dawn Pearcey says:

    This is beautiful Shalagh. I am not a parent, but have always thought this must be the hardest thing to do – to let go, so that your child can find himself. It’s fear and strength in the same moment. Cheers to you both!

    • Shalagh says:

      Yes, it’s a very tough line to walk. Not making it about yourself is hard to do anyway much more so when you love something so much. I was not allowed this freedom Dawn and I payed with my esteem. I refuse to recreate that for him.
      As always, thanks for reading.
      Love,
      Shalagh

  2. Trishia Peerman says:

    Shalagh,
    Wait til he turns 17 and gets his drivers license and starts working part-time. Wait til it’s his last year in high school and he’ll be headed onto something else further from home. These are my experiences this past month. The happiest and saddest mixed into one–bittersweet. He’s doing well so I accomplished my greatest desire of being here to see him into his life on a good foundation. He will always be my baby boy! Enjoy it just like you are; you will have no regrets. I promise; I know.
    Blessings, Trishia

  3. Melissa says:

    The beauty of a small town. Freedom , autonomy is akin to potty training , it’s child not parent driven. When a child says I am a big boy, intro to underpants . When a child says I want to walk to the store, it’s time for discussion. I teach my kids weird body language , they know who is going to bust a nugget. That guy pumping his fist, running his hands through his hair , eyes either jet calm or antsy. That guy who smiles only with his mouth . If they can tell me what someone behind them is wearing than more freedom comes . It’s not a race, adulthood comes swiftly. I hope to arm my kids with their internal perception and sense when something is not right. The shoulda and coulda are something I want to minimize, they have no idea. If this is something Eamon asked for then it’s time for talking. The world has evil, evil takes 3 min. Evil looks for that kid walking alone. Honestly safer with a bike.

    • Shalagh says:

      Hah Melissa, spoken like a true city girl. Shifty eyed guys and weird body language is very important. If you saw where we live and the bike Eamon has you would be better with it. I’ve only let him go one way. And yes we have predators. They’re everywhere. I tell him the best thing to do is to run as fast as he can in the other direction screaming if anyone who’s creepy tries to get him in their car. Best I can do. Hoping Mark’s overprotectiveness doesn’t hold him back in other ways. He’s the grandma.
      Love to you lady !
      Shalagh

  4. Jane Barry says:

    Beautifully written and expressed Shalagh

  5. michelle says:

    and it never ends, either.
    not after graduation, not after anything.
    I’m proud of Eamon! and you!

  6. michelle says:

    Interesting thing is, kids are pretty smart.

    I let Josh walk to (name withheld for safety). it’s on our side of main street, no big streets to cross, all side streets. He loves that because he can take his allowance and go with his friends without me. I let him go to (another store) too – and that is on the same street we live on. He refuses to go to Store #2 though because he swears there’s always some “wierd” guy staring at his wallet. He doesn’t like it, is not comfortable and he follows his gut and lets me know and so he doesn’t go there. They’re pretty smart.

    We are lucky on our street. All the parents communicate and all the kids know to come to us when they feel something is amiss. When we do get a suspicious person acting suspiciously (like the guy they reported was watching them at the playground)… we band together and run them out of “town” pretty fast. All the parents get told and the kids that so and so looks like this or drives such and such… a lot of communication. Say what you want about texting, it’s rocking for our neighborhood safety, as well as for keeping our kids in line. Anyone misbehaves…their parents get told lol. I give out josh’s pic and my phone number to my neighbors so he can get tattled on too. It rocks.

    • Shalagh says:

      That’s actually really great that everyone is in touch and tune in your town Michelle. The creepers are out there. And it’s the part where we empower our kids to say “no thank you” instead of wanting to be liked or dodge shame or bullying, that’s the scary stuff to me. Because I’m also not a boy, I don’t understand certain dynamics that happen just in regular life. So I have to urge Mark to step in there. Thanks for your support. I know you know what it looks like being a Mama to three completely different age groups.
      Talk soon,
      Shalagh

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