Sweet as he so often is, I couldn't help but notice a bit of push-me pull-yous since the reality of summer and his imminent stay chez sleep-away camp is in the cards. Yes, it's his job to separate from his mother. Yes, it's his job to be short tempered with his mother. And yes, mothers do have feelings. And desires. To let our children grow and seize the world.
Of course, my “mother” job is to raise the children so that they can move along in life, learn to walk, talk and eventually cross the streets with confidence and humility by themselves. With pride and joy I watch as my own have come to navigate their NYC way of life. They not only cross the streets by themselves with self assurance, they’ve come to embrace the excitement and stimulation that this city life has to offer. These were the California kids that wouldn’t get out of our car by themselves if only to run 10 feet to the neighborhood bakery and pick up their LA made pain au chocolat or raspberry croissant.
But now, there's no turning back. Just the same, the not-so-little 11-year old often requested that I meet him after school and travel by his side. It is true that by spring of 5th grade, many NYC children do not yet have a mastery of public transport. This boy does as do many of his friends. But rather than cross-town with his classmates, he asked for yours truly. He says he likes the company, as do I. It is a magical time.
It’s easy to understand why. Not only is he moving up a grade but my guess is, it's the camp thing. His first trip away from home. I know he'll be fine (I hope I'll be fine) but I will miss my boy because I know that when he comes back he'll have made the break. He'll have spent more than a night or two away learning to canoe, make his bed and live with others. No doubt, the 11-year old's recent display of resistant behavior piggy-backing his hand on my shoulder, he recognizes the open road. Fortunately, it’s a two way street. xoxo sweet bear.