By: Carolina Pichardo
During one of my frenzied periods of reading nothing but parenting books, I remember finding this quote: “Parenting is a long goodbye.”
I don’t remember where I read it, or what exactly was the topic, but it stuck to me through the many years ahead.
When my daughter took her first few steps, her 1st birthday, the tooth fairy and hearing of course – her few words.
I wonder often whether I was doing a good enough job. Will she be ready to go off on her own? But most importantly, whether I – myself – was prepared to let her go.
There have been moments when I don’t think I will be… Like the other day, for example, when I tried cutting her food and she gently took the knife and fork away from me. Also, how recently she’s requested going to see “Justin Bieber, Black Eyed Peas or anything else,” simply because museum trips and local, kid concerts aren’t her thing anymore. She has an attitude now, smarter responses… And, these days, who really dares forget her age? “I’m ten already.”
Yes, my heart sinks a little when she pushes back and phases out of certain activities.
Like when she phased out of enjoying her favorite program, Dora the Explorer. There was nothing big about it.
One day, I noticed she simply stopped watching it.
“Isn’t Dora on?” I asked.
“Well, you don’t want to watch it?”
“Nah,” she said with a shrug. “I think I’ve seen everything Dora already.”
With that, she kept turning the channels before turning off the television and running off to play.
Maybe that’s how this long goodbye will be. No big deal or confetti-styled celebration, but simply a phased out process that will be waiting to happen.
Until then, I’ll continue letting go of the things she’s gradually letting go (Dora was harder on me than on her) and wait until it’s my turn in this process.
Young Urban Moms’ co-founder, Carolina Pichardo, is a digital marketer by day, writer and community activist by night, and mom to Lulu always. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @c_pichardo.