May 18, 2006

The Discomfort of Letting Go

This summer is going to be a nerve-wracking one for me. I can see it already. This is the summer that I'm going to have to let my little boy go.

No, he's not leaving - he wants to "run with the pack." He has several friends in the neighborhood - the girl next door who's 7, the girl across the street who's 6, and two from down the street who are 5 and 7. They all get to roam around the neighborhood and play.

Last year, they would come to our house and play and that was great, but I wouldn't let D go with them when they left - told him he was too little. This year I don't think I'm going to be able to get away with that. So, last night I let him go for the first time. The group came over to play, and pretty soon they decided to move on. D wanted to go with them and I let him. I told him to be very careful crossing the street (we've gone over that 100 times, but...) and to stay with the other kids and stay out of trouble. We've gone over things like stranger danger, keeping out of the street - all the safety stuff. I know the kids' moms and they all know they're not to go in someone elses house unless their mom knows where they are. I reminded the whole group not to go outside of our block and I asked his two closest friends in the group to watch out for him and help keep him safe. They assured me that they would.

I was a nervous wreck. You should have seen him, though...he was having a blast.

I'm the kind of mom who doesn't like to let him out of my sight. I sat on our porch, a rather high vantage point thankfully, and watched them wander around each other's yards, in the alley, between the houses, on the sidewalk. When they got out of view, I'd wander over to that side of the yard and pull a few weeds or something so I could watch. When they went over behind the houses across the street, I really got worried thinking about all of the things that could happen to my baby. I can't coddle him forever, though...he's a boy. He's going to want to run and explore. Gah!

After a bit, I went over to Brianna's house and visited with her mom. It helped to talk to her about my insecurities and nervousness, and she was very understanding and reassuring. She was in this same spot last summer.

The kids were in her back yard playing at the time, so I felt better being close by. They would come to the door from time to time and report in. The littlest boy, Tony, it seems is a bit of a story-teller. He told me that the D-Man hit him, which his sister negated by standing behind him shaking her head no. Mmm hmm. A little bit later he told me that the D-Man had "runned off". I went to the door and there he was, playing with the others. Yeah, little man, I've got your number.

Pretty soon, it was supper time for some of the other kids and they had to go, so the D-man and I went back home. It was nearly pajama time for him anyway.

I know that this was just a little taste of things to come. They are good kids for the most part, and I know I shouldn't worry so much but I can't help it. He's my baby. I have to trust him and let him branch out. But shit. It's just so hard because I'd die if anything ever happened to him. I guess I don't really have to let go yet...just loosen my grip a little. *whimper*

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