Saturday, August 13, 2011
I tell my child all the time--"It is not that I don’t trust you or that I feel you lack common sense…you just have no idea HOW incredibly morbid by imagination is—please call when you get to where you are going"
The Beast, unlike her mother, thinks the best of everyone. I am sure she has Beethoven’s 9th symphony cheerfully playing in the background of her psyche at all times, while I have the 5th symphony as the sound track of my life—that of death approaching me and all my loved ones…
At the subway turnstiles I steel myself …”I love you. Remember to stop and think if you are unsure. Never be too polite to tell some creepy guy “NO!” and I mean LOUD. Remember “NO!”…no other word is needed—everyone knows what it means and people will help….but you will be fine. I will be the one to worry—remember…PLEASE CALL WHEN YOU GET THERE.”
She takes her Metro Card out and like a pro slides it through the turnstile and turns briefly to me with a smile to tell me to be brave. She is off—without a concern. She knows where she is going—she has the inspirational Ode To Joy theme song playing in her head as she bounces down the subway stairs and off to SoHo and her new life as a teen writer.
It is so hard to let go—and to balance my clawing fear against the knowledge that independence is something to be encouraged—hanging with city kids in niche bookstores, eating exotic food from hipster food trucks, daydreaming in cool designer boutiques….
It is the beginning of an adult life, of life that is widening beyond…sniff…us
She arrived back at my office after her solo subway travels. She had a glow of success radiating from her. The office IT guy comes up and says, “You know, city kids ride the subway all the time by themselves. It is not a big deal.”
She looked him up and down and said “No! It is a big deal for me and I am proud. You cannot take that away from me.”
Hearing the word NO—my co-worker Debbie, like all good New Yorkers, comes over to assist—“You tell him girl!” she cheered.
And that is what we give our kids when we let them go—we are giving them a confidence and a pride that no one can take away from them.