It’s summer again, which means a new season of worry. It seems no matter how long we live here, I spend the first few weeks at the beach terrified for my children. Every year there is some new milestone, swimming in the big pool, boogie boarding or, the worst so far, having free reign of our club.
When they’re infants, and you worry over them reaching proper milestones or surviving their first sickness or even ER trip, you think it can’t get any worse.
Then they grow up and they want to ride bikes or walk to school or wander their summer lair with friends, not their moms. It is then that you realize all those early days spent worrying about them seem silly, because at least then you could keep them under your nose and monitor their every move. Now?
Well, now you have all the evils of life to contemplate and you have to let them leave your sight.
I suppose I could keep them more under my thumb, but my fear of raising insecure people who eventually hate me for hovering far outweighs all my other irrational fears.
So. I let them wander away from my beach towel to the area their friends have gathered, or watch as they swim farther and farther into the surf, and try to quiet my mind about kidnappings or drownings or sharks who bite off surfers’ arms.
I watch as their helmeted heads bike down the street away from my house and pray for a strange cease of traffic all around town.
I curse myself for all the novels I’ve read over the years that centered on horrible things happening to kids. I vow never to watch the news or read any websites ever again. I hold my breath. I say a prayer and I do what mothers for years have done before me: I let them go and hope with all my heart that they are ready for the world, for it is theirs for the taking.
This post was inspired by the novelThose We Love Most by Lee Woodruff. Every family has its secrets and deceptions, but they come to surface a tragic accident changes the family dynamic forever. Join From Left to Write on June 6 as we discuss Those We Love Most. As a member, I received a copy of the book. All opinions are my own.
P.S. Looking for more parenting guidance and tips for self-care? Check out From Chaos to Calm a guided training to help you feel better in this tough season.