One of the hardest points of good parenting is getting to the point where you have to let your young ones go. When they get to the point where it’s:- “them against the world”. Like I said, it is only hard, if you are of the good parenting school. That is, merely knowing how hard, how tough and mean and cruel the world can be is enough to make a parent wish to delay cutting ties with their children.
I would compare it to bungee jumping for the parent or guardian. Mark that this apprehension and fear if felt not by the young ones setting off to the world, but their parents. This will normally begin when letting children off to college. The fact that you will lose control over what your child is doing, what they may undergo and how they will behave or react to situations , people and places sometimes alien to you too!
These fears are both real and imagined. We must as guardians, learn how to trust children to do the best they can to protect themselves and others. That, and praying for them, is all we should do sometimes. Of course cases apply where there is need for direct and harsh intervention to help children settle into adulthood. This is necessary when we deem them a danger unto themselves and others for one reason or another. In other instances too, intervention may be for the protection and safety of those who are vulnerable like the mentally unwell or very physically impaired.
At some teamwork retreats, there is a game that is played by asking members to get blindfolded and wholly trust their colleagues not to let any harm befall them. This is akin to playing Blind man’s bluff. While blindfolded, you may be asked to fall backwards with arms crossed over your chest, or forward. Either way, it is a test of having blind faith in others. It is all very well when it is a game. In real life though, things are quite different.
All around us, we see people letting their charges slip and fall hard on their faces and backsides as they watch. Yet these same observers have the sworn duty and allegiance to soften or prevent this stumbling. It may be a teacher watching his students regress in their studies without caring to encourage and improve them, It may be a wife watching her husband misuse money and ignoring to guide him, it may be a civic leader failing to advice his subjects on proper care of the environment….and so on. Anyone with a responsibility over others, whether it is by relation or appointment, owes the duty of guiding to prevent ruin or loss. Goes to show that life‘s games are that much harsher. Trust is that much more at stake in real life than at a team building retreat game.
My Sonny is yet young by my judgment, but his time to fly off the coop, has come. I selfishly wish I could hold back the hands of time and delay his departure just a little bit longer. Yet the sooner he learns how to fly, the sooner he will learn how to cope with life in the adult world. I had the same fears for Miss D a year ago. How time flies! Yet now she is going on well. How far we have come!
I will be alone with my baby in a few months. We will periodically see Sonny and Miss D. I should be celebrating Sonny’s graduation to the next level. Growing does not cease. Every new chapter in their lives is a graduation level for me to celebrate them. I should apologize for mopping about the house soon being emptier. Still I am happy that my big boy is now preparing for manhood. All that I have taught him will now be put to test and practice.
Parenting experiences, graduate us level to level. It is a continuous education for all of us. I am lucky to still have my baby to keep me company these few years before he goes to secondary school. I know I will remain busy and on toes ,what with college tuition and other needs for my loves. It is a long journey yet, before Sonny and Miss D are done with college. Until then, they will still be indirectly in my charge, no matter how limited my scope of involvement in their lives will be.
As they mature, I am learning so much from them. I now appreciate friends and relatives who have grown children. I realize as we grow along with my loves, what sheer strength my older friends have had, to put whole families through school and college. Especially since many lived on earnings far less than what we are offered today. I can only imagine what lengths they pushed themselves to, in order to manage.
Be considerate and encouraging, to people you know, who are in these circumstances. Now in my early maturity, (I am yet so young) patience, understanding and humility come to me so easily. Most of these virtues I have acquired as a result of harsh experiences I have undergone in my parenting.
As concerns my brood, I must let myself have this blind faith in their ability to spread their wings and fly. I have set myself free to join in their thrill. I look forward to hearing all about how they did this and that. I await to share in their successes and accomplishments, their embarrassments and achievements and their many stories about past escapades. In trusting me with their life stories, I will be better able to guide them. This will only be possible if I have an open mind and allow them to make their errors and better decisions without undue interference. Some will be good and some will be bad and yet others will be ugly. Despite this, I am prepared to listen to it all. I shall keep encouraging them positively and helping them up when they stumble or fall. Whatever comes, we shall not fear. The Lord is with us. It will be our joy to share it. Here I go…
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Emerald Sua is a Christian single mother who prides herself as a voluntary organizational guru for lives, systems, situations and homes.