Posted on | October 14, 2014 | 2 Comments
I didn’t sleep well last night, and as anyone who suffers through anxiety knows, sleeplessness makes it worse. So when I woke up this morning to thunderstorms and tornado watches, I have to admit the thought occurred to me to stay home with J safely tucked beneath my wing, riding out the storm together in the presumed safety of our home.
I thought about it so much that I actually emailed my assistant and asked her to reschedule my morning appointments. I thought about it so seriously that I stayed in bed until almost 7:30, weighing the pros and cons of just calling in “storm” to work and keeping my most precious person in my sight.
But if there’s one thing I’ve learned about parenting it is this: The absolute MOST important lesson you can learn as a parent is how to let go. And it’s a lesson I struggle with almost daily. My natural tendency is to cling. I don’t much like that about myself, but the fact of the matter is, if there’s a literal or figurative ship going down, I’m the crazy lady with her fingernails deeply embedded in the caulking of the deck and I will be damned if I’m letting go. I may not be a stage five, but I’m a solid three on the crazy clinger scale.
So you can see how it might have been difficult to pull up to the trailer-esque classroom at my son’s school and allow his teacher to pry him from my grip. You can see how I might have been a little crazy-eyed when I pasted on a smile and motioned for her to come closer… I’m honestly surprised that she did.
I waved to my kid with this crazy-woman smile and waited for him to step through the door before I turned my attention to the teacher.
“You. Have. A. Tornado. Plan.”
It was more of an order than a question, sort of spiraling out of the pit of my crazy in a terrifyingly high pitched voice, but she smiled in the serene way that all Montessori teachers seem to have, as if they load up on medical marijuana pre-seven am just to deal with our little angels. With a nod, she confirmed that they did, in fact, have a tornado plan, and that the teachers and children were very familiar with that plan.
It was the only thing I could do.
I unclenched my fist and watched the door close behind my child as the storm clouds gathered overhead, and then I pulled away, leaving him behind as I headed to the office.
Sometimes I wonder if learning to let go is the ONLY thing we have to learn as parents.