Thursday, March 19, 2009

Confidence Not Shattered, but Definitely Shaken

This latest incident with Kaitlyn has left me nervous, shaky -- lacking solid ground where my parenting skills are concerned.

Do I have feelings of guilt? No. I don't wish I'd kept her from climbing that tree. But I do feel a bit nervous.

A good part of the reason Kait is who she is -- fearless and ready to tackle the world at a moment's notice -- is the fact that we've always let her have her run of that world. Kait was just a baby when we started going out to the Young Family Retreat for weekends in the country. (A baby who on one trip kept us all awake. ALL Night!)

As she grew into toddler-hood, we kept an eye on her. But by three, she had the run of the place. With "Little Mother" Maddie hovering over her, we knew she was well taken care of -- and we allowed her to roam with the big kids.

Much the same at the Creek. Our girls have been urged to run and play and explore every inch of the Creek. Kaitlyn has done just that. Our little "adrenaline junkie," as Kelly so aptly labeled her, absolutely lives life to the fullest.

Kait at 3:

This is the child who starts at the bottom step of the house and runs full-tilt down the sidewalk and onto the pier so that when she jumps in she'll be halfway across the Creek. This is the child who has been turning flips off the pier since she was four and whips them out at swim lessons before anyone else.

This is the Kindergartner who is in a gymnastics class for 1st graders and up -- and is more than keeping up with the class.

I know, in my heart, that the opportunities and freedoms we've given her have allowed her to develop that spirit of adventure.

Kait at 5:
At the same time, I was scared out of my mind on Monday. My first aid skills and training were filed away so far back in my brain they had cobwebs. And what they taught in those long-ago sessions was pretty much surpassed the moment I saw her wound. The first aid kits that I had so carefully supplied for the house and car were painfully inadequate.

And we were 25 minutes from the nearest hospital.
The girls and I spent a good bit of the summer last year at the Creek. Much of that time it was just the three of us. And we did great. But right now, I can't bring myself to go down there without at least one more adult.

My confidence is shaken, and I could so easily become an over-protective Mommy to a point that would be incredibly unhealthy for both of us. The trick is to avoid that, and to keep from clipping Kait's wings. She needs to climb trees -- it's great practice for climbing mountains someday. And from an academic viewpoint, you might even find a correlation to developing her problem-solving skills.

She needs to turn flips off the pier and run crazy through the yard and live life to the fullest.

And I need a seatbelt. Being Kait's Mommy has already turned into a wild ride.


TexPatriate said...


Every parent goes through this. You want to keep your kids from anything that would hurt them, but sometimes that's where the most lasting lessons come from.

My sister learned not to stand on a stepstool near the sharp shower door handle. I learned that I am not a skier. You learned something else your senior year. My parents did not forbid us to go near shower doors or skis afterwards and I know that your parents continued to let you ride in motor vehicles.

*shrug* -- it's just part of growing up, imo, both for children and for parents.

Kayren said...

Buckle up friend God didn't give you Kait by accident! I love you!

P J said...

So glad Kait is doing well. Yes, this will be a learning experience for you and her, but in the long run, it will be important. Hope she is not too restricted with her Firecrackering. Bet she is ready to go already.

Best to you all.

Other Mompj