There comes a time in the life of every parent, adoptive or otherwise, where it is necessary to let a child spread his wings. In the case of an older adopted child, that moment can be harder that one would think.
My son, T, has been begging to be allowed to walk home from school by himself. He is twelve years old and in the sixth grade so this request shouldn’t seem shocking. But, I have only been T’s mom for a year and a half. I am not ready for him to be doing anything by himself. Our house is close to a mile from T’s school. It is on the same street so he doesn’t have to remember any directions. He does however, have to cross two major intersections. Intersections strike fear into the heart of a mom. There are cars and their drivers are not always paying attention. The life of my child is at risk! I refuse to lose my son less than two years after becoming his mom.
My husband ever so gently informed me that I was being a bit dramatic. He said it was time to let T try to do something on his own. So, being justly reprimanded by my hubby, I allowed T to ride his bike to the grocery store to get shredded cheese one afternoon. We live two city blocks from the store so I felt confident in my ability to handle the journey without too much stress. T went to the store and even came home with a shopper’s savings card. He was so proud of his ability to travel the two blocks and even more proud of his Plus Card. He tucked it neatly into his Star Wars wallet and beamed at his new found independence. Then he looked me in the eye, confidently, and said, “Mom, I think it’s time you trust me with the responsibility of walking home from school.”
I find it so humorous that my child can be so wonderfully articulate when he is right and I am wrong. As hard as it was, I let him make the trek home from school all by himself the next day. I “trusted him with the responsibility” and he lived up to his word, arriving home just 20 minutes after school let out.
T’s Plus Card and his mile long daily journey home from school is just the beginning of things that I’m not ready for. The truth is though, I’ll probably never be ready to let him go. I missed eleven years of his life and no matter how many years I have with him, I’ll never want to let him out of my sight. I will though and so will you. In the end, we’ll just have to support one another through those moments when letting go is just too hard.