Sunday, March 25, 2012

Letting go

My fifth grade son rode his bike to school.

I realize this doesn't seem newsworthy.  It seems like any day in Everywhere, USA.  As a mother, it means so much more.

You raise your children the best you can with what you have.  You hope they will become self sufficient, responsible decision makers in their own life.  Then you have to let go.  If you've done your job right, their autonomy grows and blooms.  I've said it before... why is it so hard to accept that if you've done your job, they leave.  So bittersweet.
Ryan and Dominic

Dominic came into this world smiling.  He is just a happy boy.  You should have seen the gleam in his eye when I finally relented, allowing him to ride his bike to school.  A little over a mile.  Half of it with park walking paths to ride on.

But half of it is 192nd avenue. Crazy walmart people. Vicious dogs being walked. Distracted school parking lot parents. People late to work, pretending not to notice the school zone speed limit.

He wore his helmet and we checked his tires for air. He had the path mapped out, and a responsible friend to ride with. His friend has a phone, and promised to text when they got to school. He used the front clip on his backpack, the one that goes around your torso, for weight stability. He knows how to cross the street, check for cars, and give bike hand signals.

I felt a mixture of pride and fear.

I tried to act like I could handle all this. I even left the house, with my cell phone of course, and joined a neighbor for coffee. Nonchalant. No worries. People can't see inside my head, right?

When the text came... made it to school... I let out a sigh of relief. My boy, future leader, world traveller, made it to school. On his bike. By himself.

The bus stop is actually my driveway. As the youngsters lined up, Dominic whipped past them and yelled out, "See ya, suckers."

My boy is growing up.

Ryan and Dominic's bikes at school.  Clearly they wouldn't pose for a picture

1 comment:

  1. Breathing out. This is an enormous deal, for all of us village moms. :) Well done.