Not Ready to Fly

2005-05-26     

     I really don’t think I could ever be a mama bird.  I could just never see myself pushing my kids out of the nest whether they’re ready to fly or not. How do those women live with the possible thought of one of their babies lying all twisted like a pretzel at the foot of the tree? Now, I’m not saying I’d keep ’em around until they start to get grey feathers or anything, but I’d at least like to make sure their wings are good and ready before I let them give it a go in the big, wide-open world.

     Now that my twins are in first grade, they are apparently supposed to be a lot more independent.  They are expected to walk into school, find their lockers, hang up their stuff, and make their way to their classrooms all on their own.  Personally, I have a really hard time assuming that every child is going to be ready for that kind of responsibility at this stage. Sure, some kids most definitely mature a lot faster than others, but every kid is different. 

     My daughter already seems to be ready for me to cut the cord and let her go free. Even though I insisted, she didn’t even want me to walk her to the door on the second day of school.  She knew exactly where she was going and just what she needed to do to start her day. She typically does tend to be the better listener of my twins and is pretty good about following directions. I’m sure it’s just one of the many differences between boys and girls.

     My son, on the other hand, is what I’d call a “free spirit.”  He often likes to march to the beat of his own drum and is very easily distracted by even the tiniest thing.  So, after I sent him into school yesterday with the hoards of other first, second, third and fourth graders, I started to have second thoughts about his ability to actually get where he needed to go.  My gut was screaming for me to follow him in there.  Since my gut tends to be right ninety-nine percent of the time, I decided to listen.  When I turned the corner to the section of lockers where my son should be (if, in fact, he was doing what he was supposed to be doing), I stopped and did a double-take.  There he was, still in his jacket, his back to me, standing INSIDE his locker!  I shook my head and wondered just what in the hell he was doing in there. And when I caught up to him to ask him, he pulled out his head and gave me no answer whatsoever except a big old ear-to-ear grin. He’s so fascinated by that damn locker, that the only thing I could conclude was that he just wanted to see if he could fit in there.  God only knows.  I helped him out of there, sent him off with a kiss, and thanked my gut for steering me in the right direction once again.

     Clearly not all kids are ready to take on all these responsibilities right from the get-go.  Is it so bad to give them a little parental guidance until they get more comfortable with yet another entirely new routine?  I really don’t understand why everyone seems to want my kids to grow up so freaking quickly.  We all know they will have more than enough time to be adults. I’m just not ready to kick them out of the nest quite yet, so sorry if that ruffles anyone’s feathers.

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