Monday, May 30, 2011

Just another face in the crowd

Something happened this morning, and after a wonderful debrief with one of my best friends, its led me to wonder...

Now G is at school, is he just another face in the crowd?

At this stage of our boys lives, no one loves or cares for them more than my husband and I do. With G starting school - I have had to let go a little. Start to trust others more and generally start taking the first steps back to allow him to grow into a wonderful young man. Problem for me is, taking those steps and wondering what will happen to him when I do.

The incident this morning was when I was leaving after drop off. A had needed to use the toilet so we were leaving awhile after bell. While walking out the gates a little girl not much older G (so around 6) was walking in the gate. She was crying and walking alone. I stopped and asked her if she was ok (stupid question really.. obviously she isn't!). When she said no, I asked her if she wanted me to take her to the office, she nodded. I walked her into the office and told the ladies that she needed some help. The office ladies dismissed her and sent her on her way to class as she wasn't 'late' yet. Bell goes at 8.45, it was 8.59, 'late' is 9.00. She left the office and I asked her if she needed a hug, which threw her alittle I think, she declined (Good too I guess - stranger danger and all!) and I said goodbye and she left.

I would hope that if that was my child and another mother had brought them into the office that someone, anyone would care enough to find out why my child was upset. I felt ill that she was so easily dismissed.

She was just another face in the crowd to them.

Not that this child will ever settle for being 'just a face in the crowd'!

I know that part of growing up is to build resilience and independence, but at what cost - and at what age? To me, 6 is still young and in need of care. There are mum's who leave their Prepy's (so 4-5yr olds) well before the bell goes, drop them at the gate and trust that they will be safe and will get themselves to class. I can't do that. I can't even bring myself to even drop him off and wait in the car, I walk him up and wait with him until the classroom opens. There are no staff on duty at this hour, so I stay to make sure he safe.

Now my first born is out in the world. Starting to have all these new experiences that I can't control. I can no longer protect him from all the evils in the world. This scares the living day lights out of me. He is still so young, but for a large chunk of his day he is just another face in the crowd. There is no one there that has HIS best interests at heart 100% of the time. There is always going to be an element of risk where he isn't protected. His first few weeks at school he had already been picked on physically. But before today I was pretty sure that at least the ladies in the office would care if he came in crying... obviously not.

Its a hard job, being a parent. I keep reminiscing back to when they were newborns when I could bundle them up tight and keep them safe. As my mum says, they are my cubs and I am their mumma bear - I need to protect them. But as they get older, there is less and less that I can protect them from and this mumma bear is struggling.

Am I alone in this? Are you a parent who finds it easy to step back?

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