I’ve accomplished another stage in my life. I’ve sent my first Noodge to high school and I survived. It’s a major step for him, but one for me too. He’s closer to adulthood, that time where he will pack his bags and leave for good. I know it’s supposed to happen. I don’t have to like it. I thought about tying him up and keeping him locked in his room and maybe he’d forget about going to high school, but then I realized people get arrested for actions like that so I had to let him go.
That’s what this parenting thing is really all about, isn’t it? Letting go. You let go of their hands the first time they walk, and you let go of the back of the bicycle the first time they peddle their feet like crazy. You let them go to a friend’s house for the first time and even though you might sit outside in the car waiting and watching, you know, just in case a mass murderer shows up or a fire starts or something, you have to let them do it. Just like I had to let him go to high school. But do I have to let him drive? Okay, okay, I do. I know it. But I don’t have to like that either.
It’s scary to let go because it means something is going to change. You’re either going to soar into the sky or fall on your face. We all hope for the first and worry about the latter. How will I be when my Noodge, this amazing young man who I am in constant awe of, who brings a joy into my life I didn’t know possible until I met him, walks out the front door for good? Who will I become? How will our relationship change? Will he call his old mother to say hello and share how his day was? Perhaps or perhaps not. I’m suddenly glad there’s high school. It’s the training period for parents so we’re ready for the big departure some day.
Thankfully, I have Noodge 2 to pour all my attention on when Noodge 1 goes off to college, but from the looks of it, she’s already got one foot out the door. Girls are very different from boys. No one can prepare you for that.
In the meantime, I will hug my Noodges as much as they will allow, I’ll cheer from the sides in my big, Italian voice, I will guide, I will remind and not a minute before I’m ready, I’ll let go.