Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Letting go

It was a freaky coincidence that I was intently studying the beautiful stampede of cardboard horses by the awe-inspiring Ann Wood when I received news that a friend of ours had fallen off a horse while on holiday in Chiangmai and had suffered some spinal damage as a result. Thankfully, there is no permanent damage but she has to wear a brace for a while.

I told Richard about it and asked, would he let Ryan try out horse riding? Richard said no. And I thought, that's good. But then I thought, is it? Surely I want to give Ryan every opportunity to broaden his world. Surely I want to let him live every experience that comes his way. Surely I should be opening doors for him, instead of keeping him sheltered. Doesn't the saying go, 'nothing ventured, nothing gained'?

But how can I send Ryan into an activity that I know is risky? How can I knowingly put him in a situation where he might get hurt? Surely the most basic role of a parent is to take care of your children and keep them safe?

Before I became a parent, I never understood why it is so hard for parents to let go of their children. I always knew that it was hard, but I didn't understand why. Now I do. It is unimaginably hard because of so many reasons and I have newfound empathy for parents who are struggling to do so. I hope and pray that, when the time comes, I will be able to strike the right balance between being concerned and being over-protective.

"There are two lasting bequests we can give our children. One is roots. The other is wings." ~Hodding Carter, Jr.


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