My child sees the world in a light that I no longer can. For her it's rainbows and butterflies. And for me, it's red stop signs and bold, intimidating headlines. She has yet been subjected to the perverse actions of others in this world. Her world is a small one that doesn't go past her grandparent's homes.
In a time of hatred, pain and vile actions, I feel an extreme need to shelter her. As a stay-at-home mom, I trust very few people to care for her. There have been nights when I've stayed up late to figure out why it is that I have trust issues. My childhood was not a bad one. I didn't experience anything so traumatic that I needed years of therapy. In fact, my life as an adult so far has been pretty typical. Had a career, have a house, get a dog, have a kid, you know, the same story we all read.
So what is it that has brought me to this place of refusing to let go of her hand? I let her explore and spend time alone with her grandparents. Daddy keeps her safe and watches over her. This little girl is filled with excitement and wonder as to what's beyond her borders.
Now that she is three, we are continuously asked when she'll start preschool. No, no, no, no. I can't let her go. Could it be that I'm afraid of her not needing me? Maybe. Or is it that I will miss out? What if they don't help her reach her potential and push her? Will she be mistreated? Are there going to be tears when it's time to say goodbye?
I have so many fears for her, some rational and some a little on the crazy side. There's no shame in being afraid of letting go. How will I handle the day she starts school? I have pushed her to walk, talk, potty train, and even taught her everything she'll need for kindergarten. I don't fear she won't have the intelligence but I fear that she'll fail. I fear that I will fail her.
Has it come to the point of being the generation that was so sheltered and with easy access to immediate news that we can not function? In this dark world, how can I let her go? She seems to be unaware of my anxiety that lingers inside. As her mother, I want to keep her oblivious to my worries. Truthfully I want to keep her oblivious to all of the danger and dark corners of the world.
Wanting to put screens up around her is impractical I know but still a wanted plan. Could it be true that ignorance is bliss? Would I be a better parent if I turned off the news and unfollow all of these sites? When will I learn to trust that I, as her mother, have done everything I can to prepare her for the expansion of her world?
As I watch her walk through the gate to see the neighbor, she has a smile on her face because she thinks that she is grown enough to do things by herself. She pulls away and says to go home so she can play. So what am I so afraid of? Why can't I let go?