The hardest thing about being a parent (and there are many hard aspects to it, despite what you may think) is learning when to let go. Learning when to allow you to have your freedom. For eighteen years you are our responsibility and then one day, you just aren’t. One day you are your own responsibilty. If I never give you any freedom now, how will you know how to use it when it is finally all yours? Every bit of it.
How much space is too much?
How much space is too little?
If I let you go will you float away like a balloon and never return?
I’m having a hard time of it.
It would be an entirely easier decision if there were not crazy contraptions in the sky. Designed to steer you off course. There are balloon thiefs. And, worse, balloon poppers. There are balloon gangs. And, God forbid, balloon addicts addicted to getting high.
It is so so so so so so fragile.
And you are not of the age that you can understand that yet.
Last month, I let you go to your very first concert.
I drove away and left you. A part of me felt empty. Disoriented. The mother beast in me was fighting with the fact that I had just left you. By yourself. Okay, you had two friends with you, but there was not an adult. It was such a tough decision. Did I make the right choice? Even dropping you off at the mall with your friends is hard.
You know I will not be giving you your online freedom until you reach eighteen. It is one thing to physically drop you off at a location with your friends where there might be predators. It is another thing entirely to let you navigate, by yourself, the entire dirty world of the internet where I know there are predators.
It is a scary world when the virtual one becomes more dangerous than the physical one.
God forbid those two should ever collide.
I recognize I am somewhat sidetracking, but it all has to do with the same thing. The ever so hard choices we parents have to make. The scary consequences we will have to face if we allow you to make the wrong ones.
And we will.
And I will.
And you will.
And I need to tighten this darn string. Because this letting go thing is killing me. And I have just discovered that the string of your balloon is tied directly to my heart. This is rather inconvenient timing. It is going to hurt to cut that string. It hurts when you pull on it. When you attempt to break free before the string has been allowed to fray. To naturally make the cut on its own.
I feel as though time is a pair of ruthless scissors.
The choices more important than helium or air.
I am the clown that cannot laugh. I cannot mold my balloon fast enough for the circus of life that awaits to take my creation away.
Life is not fair.
Nor a fair.
But I am preparing you for it nonetheless.
Those scissors are looming closer. They are so sharp. So cutting. So very dreadful.
It makes sense that their cut would hurt.
I just never thought it would hurt this much.