My Son is Growing Up – and I Don’t Like it!

My eldest, has been walking to and from school alone for the last five months. He’s 10 and a half, in his last year of junior school and very, very sensible and trustworthy. I had just about got over my anxiety of him walking alone, but it’s back with a vengeance now, you see with the changing clocks the late afternoons are now dark. This means that he is often walking home from school on club nights in the dark, he’s fine about this – I am not. I am a nervous wreck.

I trust him, I know there is no more chance of a paedophile lurking around the corner than there was 30 years ago when I had far more freedom than he does now, but it makes me scared, Probably because I’m still, at the grand old age of 36, scared of the dark. Ever mindful of Watson and his predecessors though I try to reign my own anxiety in for fear of it spreading to my children.

He is everything I would hope, confident, brave and sensible, I really do have nothing to worry about, so why then am I finding it so very hard to help him in his transition to separate from me? Why is there so much help available at the beginning of the parenting journey and so little available at this point? THIS is the point when I need the help the most and yet when you’re a parenting veteran with your ’10 year’ award you’re expected to have it sorted, to know what you’re doing.

Well I’ll be honest, I don’t know what I’m doing. I know what I should be doing, but  I’m in a horrible place of cognitive dissonance right now. Do these feelings disappear? Does it somehow click into place like it did in the early days? Or will I feel this way forever more – worried about him when he’s a 40year old balding man?

Give me a newborn or toddler any day! My goodness it was so easy then.


About SarahOckwell-Smith

Sarah Ockwell-Smith, Parenting author and mother to four.
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