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Fishica » STEPS » Letting Go

Letting go…

Of late it seems to me that a vital and extremely difficult part of parenting involves letting go to a lesser or greater extent…

My eldest daughter’s teacher gave her a note to give to me last week and without looking at it I knew what it was about…a request to meet up and talk about her starting full time school. Tienne has been ready for longer school days for a short time now…I feel I know her well and we speak openly and honestly with one another. But this knowledge didn’t prevent my heart sinking after flip flopping all over the place in a wild panic…full time school (!)…no more precious week day afternoon adventures together! Despite my daughter’s obvious excitement at the prospect of having art lessons, going to the library, joining in sports lessons with the bigger children and learning Japanese…all very important ‘big girl jobs’…Of ‘being a full timer’ – said with such pride…I just don’t feel ready…

But in all honesty, would I ever be really ready…Tienne is ready and that’s what is important and so I will let go a little bit more and encourage her to keep moving forward, let myself feel proud of her ongoing achievements without feeling too much sadness for the passing of time or get so caught up in missing my beautiful little girl that I miss out on enjoying this slightly bigger but equally as beautiful girl!

It’s about quality not quantity…and I’ll just have to ensure that the time I do still have with her counts, regardless of the hours we are not in each others company.

This of course is not the first time I have/will need to let go and I know it certainly won’t be the last. Swimming independently with a teacher after swimming holding her or within touching distance for so long…going into a ballet class unattended by me… staying at a friend’s house to play for the first and successive times…going to school for those first few hours in the morning…Growing independence does not equate to any less love or care, I know that…and it all boils down to balance and what works for you as a family unit, however big or small that family unit might be.

I am learning to let go, difficult as I might find it…and there definitely seems to be an art to this…it certainly does not come completely naturally to me and at times I have an internal (hopefully not externally obvious!) battle with myself to overcome my natural tendencies for what I believe is my daughters greater benefit.

While my instinct at times definitely errs towards overprotecting my daughter I do know that the effect is at times upturned.  Aside from making her feel loved and cared for, I know there is the possibility she will become risk-averse and too fragile. It would be hard for her to attain happiness if she became continually anxious about her skills, abilities, and decisions. At present she seems to be blossoming with a new found confidence and at ease with her place in her world…how can I squash this?!

I can’t forever shield her from the world as much as I might will it to be so… stay with her twenty-four hours a day to ensure her safety and contentment.

I know she is already learning to stand on her own two feet, is fiercely proud of her growing and evolving independence and abilities to act responsibly and take on many of life’s challenges. All this and only 4 years of age…with a lifetime stretched ahead of her of ongoing achievements & milestones to make and break.

And I plan on being there with her every step of the way. Cheering her on….often standing next to her, holding her hand… sometimes on the side lines and sometimes from a much greater distance…

My wish is that she shall always feel safe in the knowledge of how much she is loved and the confidence in me that I will always return to her side.

I know that I am just at the beginning of my parenting journey and I will continue to be faced with the dilemma of how and when to let go as Tienne continues to grow. I hope that with ongoing honesty & love and by truly listening to her I may find the ability to judge what will work best for both of us.