Sliding in to independence

As I watched my son cautiously make his way up the stairs than negotiate his way across the bridge toward the slide, I knew he was becoming a bona fide big kid.

Of course my heart was racing the entire time, and I hovered over the slide ready to catch my son should he make a wrong turn and attempt to go down any of the exits clearly not meant for his skill level. But, he didn’t go down the wrong way. He listened as I guided him toward the slide, took his time and landed safely at the bottom with a huge smile on his face.

My goal as a mother is to help my son grow confident and independent. Easy words to say, I know. I too have those moments when all I want to do is keep my child in a bubble, and early on in his life, I essentially did just that through babywearing, co-sleeping and nursing on-demand. Despite naysayers claiming that such actions would lead to a clingy child, I knew that they would do just the opposite. And sure enough, as I watched my son go down that slide, I knew I was right.

With every challenge met, a new one follows. One day it is the slide, the next it will be the monkey bars. And with each new task my son tries to master, I know my heart will race and my face will smile because, that’s being a parent.

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