Friday, January 27, 2012
Off She Goes
I think it was the movie Parenthood that made a comment to the effect of..."by the third kid you are letting them juggle knives".
Not that we were helicopter parents in the normal sense with our first.....although I do believe we were too strict. And that was as much because we were surrounded by people with undisciplined and even unparented children that it was more of a whiplash effect as we didn't want people to hate to see our kids coming. There is nothing uglier than out of control children (and I am talking completely normal, every time you see them - not occasional outbursts or handicaps of various kinds, spoiled rotten, misbehaving to the extreme children).
We were still strict with the second but not as much. That was driven by our growing up, becoming more experienced parents and the second child's different personality. All factors. And the third was different still on all those same levels...with adoption issues thrown in that really changed everything.
Even with all of that I would not consider us helicopter parents. But we did PARENT.
So this is kind of a funny place for me to be in.
See, when Bones started school the bus stop was our front yard. Out the door he went by himself from day one to stand in the corner of my yard until the yellow bus appeared. Easy transition for sure. And the next place we lived it wasn't too much different....outside our apartment building that could be seen from my bedroom window.
Our next home added another child to the school mix and that was a little harder. We lived about 3 blocks from the school so there was no busing. The kids had to walk. And for Kindergarten my second child walked to school with her brother...who was 6 years older. But first grade saw him move to another school and I walked with Songbird at first. Then we managed to work out a buddy system with other children so she began walking without me. And that was hard. She was so little and we lived in a big city. But not that hard.
So here we are on child number three. I should be an old pro at this right? Well, I'm not. Totally different child. A child that has been afraid of the world around her. A child that would't communicate with others. A real challenge.
But the last year and a half have been amazing in how she has grown.
For the last 3 years I have been walking her to the bus stop and staying until the bus leaves...with a repeat in the afternoon. She was paralyzed at the thought of me not being there.
But it was time. Beyond time really. Here she is in the second grade and still being walked to the bus stop. In base housing...not in a big city.
And literally we are the third house from the bus stop.
So before our next big move (no I have no info to share on that still) I thought this would be the perfect time to force a little more independence. I gut said she was ready.
But with this one its so hard! I thought it was supposed to get easier. Especially since we are in a safer environment than any of the other times. And there are so many moms and kids at the bus stop. (Kindergartners must have a parent present.)
But no. I watch out the window or door as far as I can see (which is almost to the bus stop). I watch for strange cars (we are not even a thru street). I almost hold my breath until I hear the bus come.
And at first she was hesitant....but just that...not fearful. And even though she prefers me to walk her or be there when she gets off the bus, she is no longer panicked at my absence.
And it feels good.
And it once again goes to show how you have to follow what you think is right for each child....not some schedule in a book or handed out to you by a pediatrician. Nobody knows your child better than you do.
I'm so very excited by this new milestone!
(But I admit I'm still a little panicked too!)