Thursday, 16 July 2015
A Million Years
I thought I had it cracked.
When they were younger, I had a million years before they were going to grow up so encouraging independence and letting go felt easy.
I was really proud of myself when, at ten years old, Toby could do his own laundry.
What was all the fuss about? Surely our whole role as parents was to encourage our children to take steps further away from us?
But as we make more memories and they begin to turn into young men who are good company, hugging me when they think I need a hug and laughing at the same things as me, I have found myself clinging on ever more tightly.
It's not a million years away anymore. I feel like I'm standing on a train track with a high speed train rushing towards me.
And tonight as Toby goes to his middle school leavers prom, shocking me with his deep voice and tall, muscular body dressed handsomely in a suit, I find myself desperately holding on to this young man who seems so familiar and yet so alien to me.
Why was I so foolish to think this 'letting go' thing was so easy? Why didn't anyone tell me that each time they take a tiptoe away from me my heart would be ripped up just a little bit more? How could I have wasted their years of holding my hand as we walked along the road and playing pirates by pushing them into independence?
And so I realise all over again that I didn't ever have this thing cracked. My boy who towers over me, helps me lift heavy things and tells me to 'stop fussing' brings me so much joy mixed with so much pain that he will never know about.
I never, ever realised the million years would go quite so quickly and would be quite so much fun.
I'm not sure I want to let go anymore. I'm beginning to quite like them now.