Since the boy started pre-school, I have been learning to let go. It is tough. When he was with the childminder we would talk for 10-30 minutes at the end of the day just chatting about what he had been up to. She would also text me and let me know how he was doing if he'd had a teary goodbye. It was good. I had a full run-down of what he was up to and, whilst having to let go a little, I was still within arms reach. At pre-school, you are lucky to get a 1 minute handover. I don't know what he is doing, who his new friends are or who he eats his lunch with.
I was starting to get a bit sad about it, never knowing the whole story of his day. Then it struck me that perhaps this is one of the hardest lessons we learn as parents. We have to let them go.
Indeed, this underpins our childrens' entire life. We have to let them go. To pre-school, to school, on school trips, to after school clubs, sleepovers with friends, away for a week with school, going to secondary school, going to university, leaving home, getting married. At every stage we let them go that little bit further away until they no longer need to check how to do things or ask for advice.
From this tiny baby which you grew inside you, who was entirely dependent on you, to a grown-up, leaving home and surviving completely without you. Your little baby who was fed solely on your breast milk for six months, learning to cook for themselves. The baby whose nappies you changed, learning to clean themselves. At every stage, getting further away.
The one thing we really don't want to do. The one thing we absolutely have to do. One of the hardest lessons as parents. Learning to let go.
What do you think? Is parenting just one big lesson on how to let your children go?