This past week, Desirae has become an expert stair climber. It’s her new favorite thing to do. Whenever I’m not looking, she makes a break for the stairs. (Maybe I should choose one day shipping on that baby gate…) If I hear silence coming from the living room, that’s a guarantee that she’s climbing the stairs.
Every time I catch Desirae on the stairs, she turns around, looks at me, and smiles. It’s as if she is saying, “Look what I did mama! Aren’t you proud of me?”
“No,” I want to say, “I’m not proud of you. You could fall down the stairs and seriously injure yourself!” But, the truth is, I am proud of her. She has discovered, learned, and mastered her new ability. Of course I’m proud of her, but that doesn’t mean I’m not worried.
But I suppose that’s what it’s like to be a mother. Your kid wants to branch out and try something, and you let her, even though on the inside, you’re concerned. What if Desirae falls down the stairs? What if she falls off her bike and breaks her arm? What if that baseball hits her in the face? What if the boy she likes makes fun of that silly sweater she loves? What if she doesn’t pass her band tryouts? The list goes on.
I guess for the rest of my life I’ll be saying, “Go try it out, Des! You can do it! I’ll be right here if you need me.” On the inside, I’ll be silently afraid, but she’ll never know, because I’ll be the one cheering the loudest from the sidelines.