But I didn’t want to let her go.
“PLEEEEAAASE! Can I go, Mom?” She wailed.
Oh, I didn’t want to let her go!
“It’s time. You should let her go,” the voice of reason said.
I couldn’t even say yes. I just nodded and gave her a hug. She ran out the door before I could change my mind. She was smart. I did change my mind. Three or four times.
“She’s been gone a while. When can I panic?” I asked.
Shaking his head, he laughed, “It’s only been five minutes.”
“I KNOW! I asked when I could panic.”
“When it’s been 30 minutes. “
That was the day Gracie went on a bike ride. Without me. Without her dad. He was okay with it. He wanted her to have great memories like he did as a kid. He thought of those things. I thought of her going off the curb and cracking her head open. I was a mess.
It was only down the street. She went with our neighbors, two older girls that I know adore Gracie and would protect her. It was still hard.
Ten minutes after my five minute panic attack, she breathlessly ran into the kitchen.
Coolly, I asked, “So. How was it?”
I forced myself to breathe again.
“It. Was. GRRRREEEEEATT!”
Her eyes were shiny. Her feet were light as air. She was glowing. Jon was right. It was a time I needed to let her go.
One round of putt putt golf and she spearheads the construction of her own hole in the back yard. One lesson in school about the food pyramid and I get 287 questions a day about whether things are good for her. One evening to see Annie with her grandpa and she is prepping for auditions and practicing vocal scales.
And one taste of freedom on a bike and she is planning road trips and trying to work me over.
“I’ll be safe.”
“I’ll go with Isaac.”
“Mawwwwm. Its only to the playground!!”
“Because. To get to the playground you have to cross a busy street. And what if cars don’t see you? That scares me.”
At that moment, I actually watched a light go on in her head.
“I’ll be back.”
And several minutes later, she was.
“I made a sign Mom!! The cars will see the sign. Then they will stop. And I will pray. We will be safe.”
But that time, I did not let her go.
Instead, we went to the park as a family. Perhaps, that was the real reason behind her inspiration after all.
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