Letting go of (not so) little hands

Last week my son turned 17.

It was my son that ended up in the ER the weekend before this past one. He hurt himself at the trampoline park. Thankfully, he just sprained his ankle.

This next weekend he wants to jump off a cliff. I say I want to do this all the time, but he is really planning on cliff jumping/diving.

I worry all the time. Is there any wonder why??

When I think I have it bad, I am reminded of a classmate’s son who checked jumping out of a car at 55 mph off his bucket list.

My son wants a motorcycle. We told him he needed to work on his grades and get a job.

The original job he had lined up fell through. Now he has a better job. He does general labor for a flooring company. It is hard, dirty work that pays unbelievably well. A job that pays enough to buy a motorcycle.

We decided to let him get his motorcycle license. Perhaps if you are reading this now and you are rather young, you think I am the world’s coolest mom. Or perhaps you are thinking I am the world’s biggest idiot.

I don’t even know anymore…But hear me out.

In less than a year, he will be getting a motorcycle with or without my blessing. He could very easily say ‘screw you mom and dad’ and be very reckless about it. Now we signed him up for a class at the local Harley Davidson, we bought him a helmet, and practically every safety item we could without putting a bubble around him. We are hoping to instill good habits now. Plus by the time he takes the class and gets the bike, he will only have 2 months to ride before it is too cold.

Believe me, I am not as excited about it as he is.

I really wish kids came with owner’s manuals. Or at the very least a flow chart. Is your child adventurous? Yes or no. Is you child a risk taker? Yes or no. Does your child follow the rules of the road? Yes or no. Each answer would pop up a simple pass or fail for each decision that needs to be made.

That would be the perfect world.

 

I loved it when my kids were young. I felt like I had some control. They would eat the food I gave them. They would go where I would take them. Then went to bed when I told them. They wore the clothes I picked out for them.

I realized the minute my children entered the world that they would someday have to leave it. I just don’t want them to leave this world before I do. I told my son that I would never forgive myself if something happened to him on a motorcycle. Children die all of the time. I can’t stop a car accident, a disease, or a natural disaster. Yet I worry about the things I have no control over.

My kids are going to make mistakes. They are going to get hurt. Letting go is a lot harder than I ever thought that it would be. I want to hold their little hands forever. I have to force myself to not over mother and smother my little birds and instead let them try out their own wings to fly. Sometimes it feels wrong. I spent so much time focusing on them. It is hard to let go. As strange as it sounds, it is hard to be me again. It is hard to do the things I want to do for me. It seems so selfish to be able to focus on myself again.

I hope I am making the right decision about letting my son get a motorcycle. But try as I might, I won’t be able to grasp his hand for much longer.

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