Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Loosening the Leash

Doing the Parental Balancing Act

We love our children. There is no question about that. We do our best to ensure their safety and to keep them away from all harm.

But this question is begging to be asked: when does care and caution become too much? and when is there too little?

I do not have the faintest idea.

I wish that there is a school for parents where quick answers could be had.

I wish that there are tried and tested formulae for raising our children.

The best we could do, I guess, is play everything by ear, seek the advise of those who have traveled the same road before, trust our instincts, and pray, pray, pray …

Just like any other parent, my life revolves around my child. I look after her welfare, plan for her future, keep her safe from danger. To do the latter, my instinct is to hold on tightly, keep her close, and steer her away from anything that is remotely threatening.

But then again, I have to ask: when does it become too much? At what point will my love start to smother my child and stifle her spirit and zest for life?

By wanting to keep her out of harm’s way, am I instead preventing her from living life as it should be lived? at whatever stage she may be at the moment?

But what if she wanted to try something risky? Will I let her do it simply because I want her to get a full taste of life? What if by doing so, I am instead allowing my precious child to be exposed to unnecessary risks?

I am constantly being confronted by this dilemma.

How can I strike a careful balance?

How far should I let go while still keeping her close?

During the Buglasan Festival, I allowed her some slack. Although feeling faint as I watched her climb up the ladder to try the Swing for Life, my heart swelled with pride. She showed me that she has courage. My beloved whirlwind is not scared of the unknown and is willing to take on anything new with complete self-assurance and confidence.

Never once did she looked back to her mother ... never did she showed any need for my encouragement. All that she needed to know was that it was ok with Mama ... and off she went!!!

This is kind of sad, but on the other hand, with the qualities that she displayed, I am confident that my baby can take on whatever life will throw at her with a stride.

Abby loved the swing and could not get enough of it. Am I happy for her? Absolutely!

Am I still scared? I will always fear for her.

But all I could do really is place my complete faith in God and trust that He is always sending His angels to keep my baby safe.

After all, Abby does have a sister in heaven, doesn’t she? And with her own personal angel watching over her, what could go wrong?

Maia, please look after your Ate. Mama is loosening the leash ... a bit!


pau said...

good morning olga! :-)

i really believe that parenting is the hardest task in this world. i wish i can share some parenting tips with you :p

your little girl is growing up! that's one thing that most moms dread. one minute she's just this helpless little thing, the next minute, she's out to conquer the world!

Fly along with her!!! :-)

Anonymous said...

My Dear Olga, Thank you so much for sharing your very personal web site with me. I think I stand in your skin when you speak of wanting to hold on to the beautiful child that you love so much. I think you have found the answer to the problem of holding on too tightly or loosening the leash. By assuring Abby that there is a strong force in heaven, the little bird Maia to whom you have given so much love and emotion, she has become the confident young lady that she obviously is, not only from your say but from the mien that I see from her pictures. You have wrapped her in bubble wrap and given her permission to go out with caution but without fear to meet the world. You have given her a remarkable gift. HAPPINESS LIES WITHIN THE REACH OF THOSE WHO REACH BEYOND THEMSELVES. Author unknown.

Much love, Norma Hugs for Abby

Anonymous said...

thanks olga,

for sharing the wonderful picture of Abby. Am so happy that you have unleashed part of some bad memories. At least, you have moved on......
They say that the best way to conquer you fear is to face it.
Am sure that must be it........ and am just so glad......
As a parent myself, i always do have that fear of losing the grip for my children might cause me immeasurable sorrows, but no............. you have to trust the Maker up above. Sharing you a story of a little girl and his father.

You've probably heard the story of a little girl and her father who were crossing a bridge . The father asked her to hold on to him, but she asked him to hold her hands instead. When he asked what the difference was, the little girl answered:
" If I hold your hand, I might let go, but if you hold my hand, Whatever happens, I know, you will never let go of me....."

God holds us tightly in His hands, despite the loose grip of our feeble faith.......

Keep praying! Let's thank God for all the Graces. @