Words hang in the air as fat legs pump and flip-fops slap the tarmac. Too late; eager joy gives him wings as he darts towards whatever’s next.
(Have you noticed that children rarely walk from Point A to Point B? They run. How much more fit I would I be were I to do the same.)
My caution and fear, ten years of boy-mothering, ten years watching as they lunge toward the world in California-boy flip flops. ten years peeling them off the concrete after they’ve tripped. Ten years of skinned knees and Boo Boo Buddies from the freezer, Nemo-shaped solace to calm the sting until they forget the scrape and plunge back to their day.
Prevent the hurt, prevent the suffering. Stop the bleeding before it comes. But they don’t hear my words. What they hear is the sting in their knees.
I tip-toe that fine line between hovering and empowering. Enabling, encouraging and protective. Giving them wings, not fears, with which to soar, not saddle them to my own experience. My own failures. My own mistakes.
My words fly off unheeded, unneeded on the breeze. They don’t fall. Not this time. Not every time.
As long as I am there to peel them off the ground, patch their wounds and cuddle a moment, before they plunge forward once again, it will be okay. There are some risks worth taking. Controlled failures — permitting them the experience and the lesson contained within.
Perhaps they would be better served if instead I shouted, “Don’t Look Down!”
They might fall. They might not. Either way, I’ll be here, to cheer them as they soar, or to haul them back to their feet to try again. To risk again. To run, again.
Chime in moms: How do you toe the line between enabling and empowering?
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Boy-mom of two, Adelle Gabrielson has been married to her first love for 15 years. Retired from a career in marketing communications and advertising, she now spends her days working as a secretary, and her evenings trying to keep peace between the boys. Adelle writes of living abundant, shiny lives at www.AdelleGabrielson.com. Follow her on Facebook: Adelle Gabrielson.