Grow & Go

"I love you much, Mommy."

Liam's words flowed gently through my ears, but hit my heart heavily like a bat to a ball. The thought of hearing him speak such tenderness left me feeling both joyful and heartbroken.

I projected the years ahead and envisioned my once wee boy pulling away from my firm grip on his cushy hand at the playground. I would watch anxiously from a neutral location – far enough away for freedom, close enough for assistance – as he climbed the colorful, metal stairs that welcomed him on an adventure.

Occasionally, he would turn around to make certain that I was still a spectator in his world. My intense waving and excitement-filled face was just a cover-up for the nerves that continued to creep into the pit of my stomach.

Don't fall!
Be careful!
Slow down!
Watch out!

The panic was all consuming, causing me to scantily observe the delight that rested playfully in his movement.

He ran.

All with the sole objective of having fun.

He succeeded greatly. I, on the other hand, needed a bit of loosening up.

We were at opposite ends of playground endeavors. I wanted him to pull back; he wanted to move full speed ahead. His imaginary harness was in the form of my presence. As long as he could see me alongside his actions, there was no risk too big or small to conquer.

Eventually, I would join him as he began to flirt with vulnerability.

A too tall sliding board.
A steep rock climbing wall.
A speedy merry-go-round.

Mama had her limits.

But for some reason, I felt like limits were just obstacles put into place to curb the curiosity of humans.

What if we all stepped outside of these limits – however much desired – and explored the possibilities?

How is it that we can't live like children and rest on the belief that someone will be there to harness our risk-taking?

Liam's independence would be a direct reflection of the both of us making an attempt to do just that. The more I let him go, the more I would a parent and as a person.

Suddenly, I felt relieved.

Life does and will move forward. There is no way to make it stop. Continuation does not mean you have to leave behind the life you once had. Bring along the parts that you want to include.

Grow and go.

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