“OK, mom you can let go, I think I can do it now, “Jake said to me over the music blaring on the crowded skating rink. I looked down at him and thought to myself “He is doing it again, he is letting go.” Just as my eyes began to fill with tears he grabbed my hand once more and said “I think I will hold on just a little bit longer mom, until I can really get this for myself.”
Parenting is a process of letting go and that part is painful. However, the cool part is they still want to know that our hand is extended and ready if they accidentally fall. Jake wanted to let go and skate on his own and tried it several times but each time he began to lose his balance he found my hand, he didn’t have to ask for it or look for it, it was there next to him. I kept my arm extended and hand opened the entire hour we skated, it was held and dropped at least a dozen times.
As parents we need to prepare our children for life. We need to teach them independence and how to handle anything. We also need to teach them unconditional love so they can give it to others. Within the idea of unconditional love we find the always extended and opened hand. We don’t try to knock them down so they will need us. We try to teach them to skate on their own but if they begin to fall we are able to help them from hitting the wood floor too hard. Jake said to me “Mom I don’t want to fall one time.” My response was “Jake it is ok to fall really it is good to fall a few times. If you don’t fall a few times how will you ever learn to get back up?”
We as parents should not enable our children or stunt their growth because we care so much. There are times we have to witness their fall because our hand cannot catch them every time. However, our love should always be extended to them, our hand always open to help them. As the time slips away so gradually yet quickly I want to remember his little hand and how right now while he is only 5 it holds on so tightly yet every so often it let’s go.