I know this much is true: lessons in independence are as much for parents as they are for their scion.
So how did I come to this grand realisation? Well, over time, but quite forcefully last week.
I had to be away all week, and so I spent time putting everything in place, writing notes and instructions and leaving an exact roadmap. Now, as the glue that holds everything together (leave me to my grand illusions, you hear?), I knew it would be tough without me for all those days.
And you know what those folks did? They lived life as usual. Well almost. My third grader kept asking me if I could wrap up earlier and come home. He caught the bug going around, though deep down I think it was two parts bugs, one part miss my mom. Again, let me be.
But as for my little one – he who won’t take a step without me – he adjusted quite well to my absence. And I’m not going to act like my feelings weren’t slightly hurt.
There I was worrying for him when “they” dropped the bomb on me: “He, he nah even ask fu you.”
As for their father, his take on the situation was that I should go away more often, so the kids could get the space to act like boys instead of babies.
Well, I never, as we used to say back in the day.
On the one hand, and quite rationally, it’s good to know that my kids are adaptable enough to have a seemingly seamless transition. But on the other hand, where do they get off not missing me like I missed them?
All jokes aside, that short break was the impetus to enforce big-boy swag more effectively, especially since everyone has proven that they don’t need mom to the rescue.
And I came home fully prepared to do that, but then it seemed as if, more than anything else, my kids are boss at transitioning, because it was business as usual the minute I walked through the door.
It brought to mind a running discourse I have with this dude I know, who insists that more than half of the issues with today’s men are the mothers who mollycoddled them.
He’s really colourful as he describes the things mothers stand in the way of, and their role in what he describes as the attempted feminisation of men. And I’m equally colourful in my responses to him.
We never solve anything, committed as both of us are to our arguments, but I will admit rather begrudgingly that, last week, I kinda got his point.
That doesn’t mean that I’m any less wedded to my view that women wouldn’t be shouldering the blame for a generation of wayward boys if men stepped up to the plate in the first place. But I digress.
Where I started today was exploring life after dependency. It is, at once, an exhilarating and scary place. And I don’t think I’m alone when I say it leaves you in the “schizo” zone. I mean, you spend countless weary hours dreaming of all of the things you are going to do when you finally regain some you time. And then the time arrives, and you feel … well … naked … and lost … and you try to find something else to do, some other dependency to indulge. Because the fact is, when you give your all to someone or something, there’s a certain shock to the system when they need you less.
But I’m taking it all in stride, and the next time a sister-girl suggests a girls’ night out, guess who’s gonna be in the house?