Since Riley was born, I’ve been very careful with how I keep an eye on him. I’ve been so obsessed with privacy and safety that some people on Facebook didn’t even know I had a kid. I’m serious about that one too.
I remember the moment I came out of theater when Riley was born, I wanted to see my baby and I wanted water. That was it. Groggy and a brand-new, young mom of a brand-new little person. My mom was in tears, I was terrified of the responsibility that I was given and knew that everything that ever happened to that little soul would be on my shoulders.
I made the same promise that all new moms make when they give life – a promise that is basically impossible to keep, right? I promised Riley that I would never let anything hurt him, I’d never let him be touched by the nastiness that is life. Oh, how naive I was.
I’ve started coming to terms with the fact that Riley is basically a pre-teen now, he is moody and eating everything and I’m terrified. Not that he is growing up, but that I have to let go of the apron strings. I’m the mom who makes sure that Riley is right next to me in the shops and that he’s holding on to the trolly so that I can see him. I still hold his hand when we’re in a crowded place and I know that this is going to have to stop soon (most likely should have already).
I see kids walking to the shops for their parents on my way home from work and cringe, I would never let Riley do that. Then I remember that I was doing corner cafe runs for my mom when I was his age, but that was 20+ years ago. Over the holidays, we spent time with our family at the Plett house (also known as my mother-in-law’s home).
Riley was surrounded by his cousins and was hardly ever around when the weather was good. This was totally fine because I knew he was with an adult that I could trust, until the cousins decided that they were going to go for a walk through the neighbourhood.
The thing that I loved doing as a kid was now my biggest fear for my own child. It was also my first hard lesson in loosening up the apron strings with Riley, who is basically all grown up now.
I mean, the boy is basically my height already and I wear the same size shoes as he does, it’s horrifying. Sure, I’m probably an overprotective, neurotic mom but that suddenly has to change and I don’t think I am ready for that. I’m not ready for Riley to be such a grown up already. I needed more time for him to let me warm up to the fact that he goes to grade 4 tomorrow and that he’s starting exams this year. I wasn’t prepared for his Christmas wishlist including CD’s of artists that I love and I definitely wasn’t ready for his request that we stop calling him “Pants”.
Guys, he isn’t even 13 yet! I can’t imagine how much worse letting go is going to be for me. Now I have to send him off to senior school tomorrow and be okay with the changes that are going to start happening this year. I have to start releasing those apron strings and I’m pretty sure that I’ll rely heavily on wine to cope.
How do you cope with letting your kids loose on the world? Tell us in the comments below!