This was not supposed to be a hard “letting go” year for the boys. I’ve survived the Kindergarten year twice. Last year was the hard, my BABY is going to middle school, year. I figured this year would be tough in the odd grade-level year thing (I heard once that all the even years, 2,4,6, 8 are easier than the odd-numbered years 1, 3, 5, 7 and have found it to be a fair assessment so far) but I wasn’t really ready for another year of letting go a little bit more.
Near the end of last school year, I started letting my oldest stay home alone for short spurts of time. Over the summer, I started even running to the store alone and leaving both my boys here. I would generally carefully gauge the “getting along” factor prior to doing that. The endeavors were mostly successful. There was that one time when my husband called only to be told by G that J was with me except he was at home and so when my husband called me at the store, he produced a bit of panic. It turned out to be a simple misunderstanding on G’s part and J happened to be in the bathroom when the phone rang so not in sight.
Starting in 6th grade, G’s bus stop was suddenly on the corner at the end of the street instead of at the base of our driveway (yes, I know we had it very good!). I watched him go up to the bus stop for a few weeks but then, I realized he had it and so I quit worrying (as much) and just told him bye as he left the house and stopped pacing at the end of the day. I was quite surprised to discover at the start of this school year that the elementary school bus stop would now be in the same location.
Ugh, I was going to have to be social in the a.m. hours! It was a bit of a challenge but I did it. I was two days in on the practice of being polite to people in the early a.m. hours when J announced that he wanted to walk to the bus stop by himself. My 8-year-old was ready to take another step away from me. He had to cross a somewhat busy street to get to the bus stop but I knew there were plenty of other parents (with younger children) at the bus stop who would help him if he needed it. He changed his mind and decided that he would start walking by himself starting on a Monday. I was able to be work on my a.m. poise and politeness for a couple extra days.
I miss our extra time in the mornings but he has no trouble getting to the bus stop (I do watch him from the safe distance of our driveway) and is gaining confidence. My oldest is home sick this morning and I had to run an errand for my husband. I left him home while I spent an hour running an errand. I really wanted to make him come along with me but I knew he would be fine and find more confidence in my trust that I could leave him alone while I took care of things.
Sometimes putting your family first means letting them fly on their own even when you want to keep hold.
This post is part of my 31 Days of Putting My Family First Series, you can read about it as well as find more posts in the series by clicking here.