…of being a parent for me has always been knowing that one of my jobs as Katie’s parent is to help her to learn independence, in varying degrees, starting from the very first days of her life.
We taught her to fall asleep on her own, without needing us to rock her until she was sleeping.
We encouraged her to sit independently…
to stand, to walk…
We encourage her to participate at gymnastics, playdates, and birthday parties without needing us by her side.
In a few short years, we will drop her off for her first day of kindergarten and we will sit in the car, holding hands and crying, as we know that everything that we have done for her thus far has been to foster a sense of self and independence so that she wouldn’t completely depend upon us.
Then, years down the road, she will leave for college, most likely never to return to live at home with us.
And as much as this will hurt, I pray that we have given her the tools–independence, self-confidence, determination–to be just fine on her own.
This is our job as parents.