An Empty Hand…

6 08 2011

Today I had one of those ‘parent’ moments.  You know, when your world seems to just pause for a minute as you realize that one of your children have taken another significant step towards their independence.

As we were weaving through a busy parking lot, my kids were nattering on about this and that.  We approached the end of a line of cars, and I sucked in my breath as I saw a car barreling along.  I instinctively reached out my hands – one for each of my kids to hold.  My six-year-old naturally reached up and took my hand, but my nine-year old didn’t.  In fact, he didn’t even realize that I had put out my hand. He paused beside me, examined the roadway, noticed the vehicle and took a precautionary step backwards; without even missing a beat in his sentence.  He didn’t even realize that he’d done it.  As insignificant a moment it was in his life, it was a moment of realization for me.  I’ve always held their hands, I’ve always helped them to make safe choices.  This time, he didn’t need my hand to do the right thing.  My hand felt strangely empty.  And in that moment, I felt a mix of pride and sadness.  We all want our kids to grow up…. it’s just strange when we realize it’s happening right in front of our eyes.

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2 responses

6 08 2011
Anne Porretta

Beautifully said, Lisa . . . in giving our children their roots and wings, we are surprised by the range of emotions that independence brings . . .

6 08 2011
Lisa Donohue

Thanks Anne,
It’s funny that you used the phrase “roots and wings”… that was something my mom used to say. When my son was first born, someone told me: “The days are long, but the years are short.”…. so true!

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