This year Jaden goes to high school. Of all the emotions, one that I can't seem to muster is sadness. I'm not at all sad. In fact, I'm abnormally UN-sad. I've spent some time reflecting on my feelings about this new phase. Although I'm still definitely in parent mode, I am fully aware that it is now time to loosen the reigns.
Recently the mom circle has been abuzz with dilemmas about dating, transportation, extra-curricular activities and the like. For the first time ever, I'm standing on the outer ring watching. I don't feel the need to cling on. I can clearly separate his path from mine, and I've disassociated his successes and failures as an individual from mine as a parent. I knew it would be inevitable. I just didn't realize how natural it would feel.
Basically, I've acknowledged it's time to let it go. Of course, there's still plenty of parenting to be done; however, at this point it should begin to look differently. I have been on the front lines guarding, nurturing, correcting, and instructing for almost 15 years. I've been an extremely hands-on Mom, often to the point of being labeled a "Helicopter Mom". I have my reasons. There are many. While I know that I've made plenty of mistakes, I strongly believe that my presence, influence and prayers have laid a strong foundation. Will he make mistakes? Absolutely. Will he make decisions that I don't approve of? Without a doubt! This is a part of the transition. In spite of it all, I'm confident he will be able to gradually gain the independence needed to thrive on his own as an adult.
I'll admit it feels totally weird to enter this phase as the parent. It's also exciting. Knowing that he has so many fresh, new avenues to pursue reminds me of how bright-eyed and eager to fly the nest I was at his age. I don't think he realizes how quickly the next four years will pass; and that's not all bad.