I let my son go to Europe for a little over two weeks.
Let me rephrase that.
I “let” my son, the fourteen-year-old go to Europe.
“WHAT ARE YOU DOING THAT FOR!” (not a question) “WHAT ARE YOU LETTING HIM GO OVERSEAS FOR. KIDS SHOULDN’T BE ALLOWED TO GO OVERSEAS AT THAT AGE!”
Ah, the unsolicited opinions of the righteously opinionated. Also loud.
Being yelled at like that, with stated opinions posed as questions always makes me calm down and have a good think about my actions. Doesn’t it for you, too?
Also the “letting” as though I was making dinner and he mumbled something about going to friend’s house and I said “yeah, whatever, just go”. As though there was no research, or consultation, or being guided by the school, a travel agent, and people who have it all planned and sorted, long discussions with all involved … nope, I just “let” him go.
There were, of course, also the concerned opinions (also posed as questions). You know “oooh, is now a good time to be letting him travel overseas? To Europe? What about the terrorist attacks over there?”
Genuine questions and concerns.
And things that we had discussed, considered, and thought carefully about.
“But aren’t you worried?”
Yes. Yes I am. I also think it is in a mother’s – a parent’s – nature to worry. It’s innate. It’s something we have little control over.
I worry when he is out of my sight. I worry when he is in my sight. I worry when he climbs things, or talks to someone, or eats food. I worry.
Don’t we all? All the time? At some level? Sometimes so minimal that we aren’t even aware of it, or when we’re not actually worried about what’s happening