I used to wonder about parents with a strong grip on their kids. Too protective. Too anxious. Too careful. Over-bearing, and overly everything. I have a two year-old now, and I take it all back. There’s no such thing as too protective for me anymore. I look at that little face and innocent spirit, and the thought of him being hurt, or lost, or anything else that I can’t even bring myself to put into words, my chest tightens, and my heart beats so fast I swear I can hear it pulsating through my head. The other day I watched a video of a toddler climbing outside the window of a three story building like a spider monkey. Yes, I said outside! Where were his parents, you ask? I have no freak’n idea. I saw a hand pull him back in after what seemed like forever. But I tell you, that child was climbing like he’d experienced this before. Holy magnolia, what in the whats! I can’t watch this stuff anymore. Kids getting hurt, or almost getting hurt… it’s not something my soul can take.
I don’t care if I look like a crazy person, repeating to my kid over and over and over that when we’re in public we walk, don’t run. No running. Just walking. What do we do? Walk. Hold mommy’s hand. Stop! Walk! No run, walk. I say it before we leave the car, and after and in between and then some. I’ve been told I repeat too much sometimes. I don’t care. I will repeat until it’s absorbed. And even then I will keep repeating. And I will follow, and run after, until the distance between us doesn’t make me panic. Yet, I will continue to give him his independence and let him figure things out on his own. No one said it would be an easy mixture.
These tiny beings, who knew they would forever have our whole hearts? I look at parents of grown kids I know well, and have so much respect. They went through so much. They know so much. They’re my inspiration. And really, a symbol of hope that I won’t die prematurely from anxiety and insanity.
Baby steps, and copious amounts of chamomile tea,