It was the weekend, and the kids were asking to go to the movies to see the latest rendition of Godzilla. At 13 and 8, I had them catch the train to Gallery Place to watch the movie. It’s not that I didn’t feel like taking them, I just wanted to add a layer of adventure to the activity. Excel had been catching the train to school for several weeks and I had already done a closely monitored test run with them catching the train some weeks ago. I felt they were ready.
This time, it was for real. No clandestine following like I did on their test run and no ridiculous amount of text based check-ins. They made it there in time to see the movie and afterwards went to Chipotle to eat lunch. They caught the train back home where I did meet them at the station down the street. My wife was little nervous but all fears were allayed when they busted through the door, all smiles and the usual hugs.
Letting go isn’t easy, even in the small doses I’ve been experimenting with. While I am proud of their growing independence, it’s bitter sweet knowing that some day they won’t need me for much of anything. Perhaps as long as there’s only room for a necessary hug, I will at some point be satisfied with being responsible for providing just that.