As most of you will know, my daughter is 9. She’s very small for her age and always has been, in some respects I still see her as the little tiny 4lb 9oz thing she was when she was born, but also I’m increasingly aware she’s growing up very quickly. She’s very well behaved, and sensible, and largely has her head screwed on (as much as your average nine year old!)
She’s recently started doing more ‘grown up’ things, instead of meeting us at the school gates, she wants to walk with her friends and then meet us further down the road to be driven back (her school is on the other side of town to where we live!). Which is okay, as I know she’s walking with a bunch of school people, it does set me on edge a little though. When she’s been staying with us she’s been wanting to venture to the nearby park on her own. She’s only done it a handful of times, but I’ve got to admit each time she’s gone, it really sets me on edge. The park is literally at the end of our road with a quiet road to cross, and that’s it.
Even so, I worry every second she’s out of my sight and I’m not happy until I hear her charging back down the side of the house when it’s been time to come home. I don’t really understand why I worry so much, she’s a bright kid, she knows not to talk to strangers, or get into anyone’s cars. Heck, when I was her age I use to spend hours knocking about outside with my friends, I can’t remember feeling worried about it, and I don’t remember Mum or Dad feeling like that either. Perhaps it’s because I was usually in a large group, or at least with my Sister, G doesn’t really have that luxury when she’s with us, all her school mates live across town, and J can’t really go with her!
I *do* want to let go and enjoy the fact she’s growing up and becoming more independent, I don’t think she realises just how much I fret when she’s gone off on her own, which I suppose is a good thing as I don’t want to push my angst on to her. I suppose the more she does it, and the further she treks I’ll gradually feel more at ease over it. I think it helps she’s always back when we’ve asked her to (usually earlier!), if she was late I know I’d be out there trying to find her!
Do you worry when your kids go out on their own?