What blossoming independence!
My youngest (8) has always been a little less independent than her sister. Not clingy (much) but preferring company of others to solely her own.
Here in our small mountain town children are allowed a lot more freedom than most city kids of their age. It’s something we’ve tried to embrace, and something our eldest in particular has really enjoyed. Miss 8 has too – in the company of her older sister.
Then in February one day, Miss 8 started dressing into salopettes and what not and announced that she was off out to play in the snow. Alone. “Okay,” I said, “just around the building though.” She came back a while later – alive and well!
Mother’s day arrived. Unusually the girls had a tutoring session that morning so the Mr and I went for a ski together. Not only did my lovely girls bring themselves home from tutoring on the bus, but I found that my youngest hads taken her money to the shop all by herself, chosen me a gift, come home & wrapped it for me. It was a back massager- such a thoughtful gift for a mum with ongoing back issues.
The holidays arrived and one afternoon Miss 8 started to put things in a back pack. “I’d like to go out on an adventure,” she announced. Big sis was in, so together we packed them some snacks and water, I gave them one half of our set of walkie-talkies and off they went. About twenty minutes after they’d left I got a buzz telling me they were taking the free bus around the lake to ‘town’. A couple of hours later they returned, happy as Larry.
Next up was shopping. Again Miss 8. She’d been saving her pocket money and eyeing up a carved wooden catapult in a nearby shop. One day she dug out her money and off she went. She came back triumphant, catapult in hand, telling us all about how she’d sorted out just about the right money all by herself.
I took a short trip to the UK solo, and the Mr reported that our same daughter had made a trip to the supermarket to buy marshmallows AND find the ice-cream daddy wanted. All by herself.
Blossoming. And it only got better.
In April my growing babe was invited to a French friend’s house for a sleepover. There were a few small nerves the day before, but not about language – she was just worried she might not be able to get to sleep in a different bed. I reminded her of all the times she’d slept in different beds, told her she could take her own pillow and heard nothing more about it – except bubbling excitement.
When Miss 10 was invited to her French friends’, she was only ever over the moon – and stayed for half the next day too!
As spring arrives I feel like new girls are springing too. More self-assured, confident, certain. Cheesy maybe (the metaphor, not the girls) but true.
I’ve even dared let them take a chair lift on their own and do a run of a piste, then met them at the bottom. Due a lot to their vastly improved skiing skills it’s true, but between us we’re all learning that as our limitations begin to fade away, we have freedom – and we blossom (words adapted from the lyrics by one of my family’s favourite lyrical drum’n’bass artists, Etherwood‘s songs ‘Begin by letting go‘ – do have a listen, he’s brilliant.)