Every day as a mother is an exercise in letting go. This is doubly true at a playground. After years, now, of being right there while she plays, of helping her climb and watching like a hawk every time she's more than a foot off the ground, I'm now in the process of reversing myself.
Yes, kiddo, you can climb that. All by yourself, you don't need me. Go ahead, jump down, I know you can do it. Go for it, Maevie, little by little, that's it!
Even though my insides are saying the opposite. Stop, please, don't climb that one, it's too hard, I don't want you to fall. Be careful! Just go up the easy way, please?
But I've read articles about how parents so often don't encourage their daughters to be physically independent and try new things, about how as parents we too often shelter our children from all physical risk, thereby teaching them not to try things and take risks. And it's just a playground, for heaven's sake, let the kid get some scrapes and bruises as long as she's having fun and trying new things.
So I am teaching myself to just be proud of her accomplishments, and to try and keep my worries to myself. I can't completely quell them, I'm still a mom, after all, but I can try and keep my big mouth shut while she scales the heights.
|And yes, I know she's not very far off the ground in this picture. It's all relative, baby.|