In your twenties you are fearless, invincible even. No decision, no matter how foolhardy is dangerous. Once you have a child though, everything changes. Every little thing has the potential to cause serious damage and every decision you make holds the weight of the world as you know it affects the future of the one who you love more than your own life. You would love to baby proof not just your house, but the world that we know to be a constant game of ups and definite downs.
My son joined swimming classes last week. The fear that bubbled up in my heart as I saw him helpless and trying his best to wade in the water by himself was indescribable. He was a little confused, a lot scared and very desperately trying to do his best in a new situation. I can never forget this expressions changing every second as he toggled from being scared to having fun every few minutes. And yet through it all, when he looked over to me, all I did was give him two thumbs up for being proud of him.
Doctor’s appointments, hair cuts, first day of pre school are all heart wrenching. But there is no recourse other than to do them. During appointments, hair cuts I’m right there holding their hand letting them know all will be okay in the end. With a hug that’s full of love after to let them know it’s over. His first three days of preschool were hardest on him and me, as he cried his way into and out of the school. But I didn’t see him during the three hours that he was without me, in a scenario that was different than usual. I’m sure he was terrified as hell wondering what was happening. I always hold in my heart gratitude for the little girl who showed me kindness by hugging my scared son on a play ground full of strangers, when I couldn’t.
The pool situation was new for me. I had to be there physically but not emotionally. I realized then that this was just the first. There would be many milestones ahead in life when the children would be in a scenario chosen by us, the parents that may or may not be necessary for a brighter future. That we could see or know of their pain but not be able to do anything to help them through. It’s almost like seeing them go through a tunnel, not knowing what they would experience while coming out the other end.
Till now, it was just finding new ways for him to have fun. If he didn’t enjoy it, we would just remove him from the setting and that was that. He didn’t have to stick to it and keep at it. Even preschool is more of fun with basics of learning along with way. Now on there would be setting of potential discomfort created by us in which he would have to himself find his footing and figure out how best of handle what needs to be done. We would be only able to guide him before and after to the best of our abilities. It would all be on him. Meanwhile, we would helplessly cross our fingers behind our backs for him to get through it with the best outcome possible.
Through it all, no matter the fears that grip our hearts, we would have to encouragingly smile, bravely so displaying only the pride we felt for them as they gave every facet of life their best try.