I sent my kid out to play today.
In the front yard.
With no fences.
And the whole time my mind is telling me I'm wrong. I think, "what if someone comes by and takes her?" Or, "what if for the first time in history there's a drive-by shooting in my neighborhood?" What if, what if, what if?
And I confess I'm watching her like a hawk from the window. And I'm reasoning that it's because that way if anything happens I will see it. But really it's that I'm hovering.
Now, like never before, there's another voice in my head. It's not control. It's not fear. It's not blame or shame. This voice says, "if I never let her go outside, she will never ..." it's kind of like when Dory says, "you can't never let anything happen to him. Then nothing would ever happen to him." And suddenly that is profound.
I guess it has something to do with listening to N'Sync today (I know, awkward). The thought popped into my head about how I never went to any of their concerts. Now don't get me wrong, I wasn't even THAT into them. My cousin had it REALLY bad for one of (all of) the boys. Girls drooled over their posters. I had no posters. I had one CD, and it probably broke the bank for my parents to get it for me. a concert was out of the question. But now, as a grown up, who still doesn't go to concerts, I look back and I think, there will probably never be another N'Sync concert. I missed that chance. I didn't even know I wanted it. But to listen to this CD and laugh with my kids about my teenage years, it would have been nice to say I blew all of my babysitting money for one wild night at a concert where everyone was drooling over boys that don't even matter to them anymore. Justin made better music by himself (though at the time I argued with that statement), Lance made a better dancer. Life moves on. I now have a kid who is gearing up for her boy-band phase of life, outside admiring what half-melted snowmen do if you kick them.
She even took her coat off. And I let her. I didn't go screaming at her to put it back on (I don't scream, really...). She looked at the closed door when she took it off, too. Waiting for me to make her put it back on.You know it only took a minute before she put it back on herself? It would have taken more time for me to go tell her and for her to be defiant (and she's not even a defiant child) than for her to think, "yeah, it is still cold. Glad I have a coat." And if she gets a cold, or if something happens, so be it.
My kid lives.
We don't just survive.
And that feeling is amazing.
By the way, Jessica, thanks for trying to teach me this a year and a half ago.