Earlier, 9 yr old asked me to accompany him to buy a portable mp4 player. He had his own money so I went with him. After buying, I told him we had to make a quick stop to McDonald's to get his brother a sandwich. He begged me to let him go ahead home. I was quite surprised. The mall was right beside our village. There was only a short stretch and he would be at the guard house, but I was still hesitant.
After a minute or two (but inside my head an eternity of debate has already run), I let him go. But of course, I creeped towards the parallel path with a lot of people where he couldn't see me, and watched him walk away until he was a dot.
While creeping, I couldn't help but be reminded of how parenting is always a series of goodbyes. You will soon have to say goodbye to the sleeping infant when he learns to crawl, then goodbye to the crawling baby when he learns to walk, then run (giving you a series of mini-heart attacks). Then he learns to play with you, and you say a little goodbye when he learns to make friends, goes to school, etc etc etc.
Soon enough, your child walks off away from you.
In parenting, changes are quick, and you have to keep up. You can't really afford to cling on to one concept of what your child is. It's bad for the both of you. You're trying to mold an independent person, and he can't really be independent if you stick only to what you've become accustomed to.
Well, I'm fine with always saying goodbye (and creeping stealthily as I watch the boys from a distance, hehehe). What I can always just assure is that I'll always be around to say Hi!, regardless of my sons' age or status, when I'm needed. :-)
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