What if I fall?

Dear daughter,

It appears you are taking baby steps…away from me.

It appears I am rapidly becoming redundant.

(Well apart from my access to that money tree and taxi services.)

It appears that with every given day you change right before my eyes, my little girl is growing up. 

My little girl is growing up at a rate of knots. Blink and there’s a new sign of the young woman developing before me.

Every day you seem to be taking a step away from me. Steps to a new future, a future of new friends, new experiences and ones where I won’t be at your side to watch over you – ones where I will be on the sidelines.

You shall be forever shrouded in the protection of this parental blanket – but the blanket these days is thinner and less visible. You don’t hang onto my shirt tails anymore, they are more likely to provide a launch pad taking you in a new direction.

Once the slightly anxious child not entirely comfortable with herself, you are now this beautiful creature inside and out, opinionated, caring, passionate about your beliefs and happy to disagree with mine.

Every day I have encouraged you to grow. Just as I encouraged you to take your first steps. But every day now it makes me heart beat faster and more furiously knowing that I am encouraging you to step away from me and step into your independence and your future. A future forged without me as the centrifugal force.

A future dictated by your own hopes, needs, desires and ambitions.

And all of a sudden, I now realise that now my job as a parent becomes even more difficult. As I can no longer control,* I can only guide. And be here whenever you need me. And you may not need me.
Tonight you needed me to be home when you got back from your first baby sitting job – but tomorrow you won’t. Tomorrow you will be happy in the knowledge it’s another thing you can do alone.**

As a parent I know the best thing I can do is not cover you in bubble wrap but give you the courage to experience this thing called life.

And it scares me more than it scared me watching you breathe throughout your first night on this earth.

I genuinely thought parenting got easier. I thought I would never mirror the helplessness I felt waking in the night and watching you sleep terrified that cot death would come and claim you. (not that that happened a lot as you never blinkin slept).

But now as I begin the journey to set you free in this big bad wide world the fear is even bigger. 

Because I can no longer watch your every breath, I have to wait in the sidelines ready to help if you need me but knowing in reality you will need me less and less.

But if and when you do, I will always be here*** (possibly a bit drunk).

Love your mum

*For the purposes of clarity (and in case said daughter is actually reading this) I am still in control, no you can’t do whatever you want and I am still in absolute charge – and will be forever.

** which is probably quite a good job as I will be out drinking gin

*** when I say here, I mainly mean somewhere in the world on a beach with wifi

Sarah Knight

Trainer and coach in communications. Plate spinner.

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