Waiting to exhale

June 18, 2014

My little boyNext week my little boy is going on his first holiday abroad without me, or any other responsible adult in tow; just him and a friend. The fact that he’s old enough to shave, manage his own bank account and vote is irrelevant. To me, he is and always will be my little boy, captured here as an adorable toddler by his dad (I love this photo, his smile and hands are just gorgeous). And while I’ve had to force myself to unfurl those layers and layers of cotton wool I’d wrapped so tightly around him while he was growing up, the thought of him being somewhere where I can’t control what’s happening is, quite frankly, terrifying.

The truth is I have spent most of his teenage years waiting to exhale, trying to relax and to stop holding my breath every time he does something independently of me; watching him grow into this wonderful young man and giving him the freedom he needs to grow, wanting him to experience everything that life has to offer, while at the same time longing to keep him close and safe. Does it ever get any better, this terror of losing the most precious thing in your life? Judging by the way my mum still frets every time I get on a plane to go on a work trip or my sister goes on a girls’ weekend away, I’m guessing, no.

*This is my entry for the Gallery – the theme this week is ‘breathe’.


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  • MummyTravels June 19, 2014 at 11:35 am

    What a lovely post (and gorgeous photo) – my daughter isn’t even two yet and my heart stops at the thought of anything ever happening to her. I know in my head that she needs to take risks, to learn, to test out what the world has to offer, to be hurt, to grow and it’s part of my job to help her do just that… but in my heart, I want to wrap her up and protect her just as you say. At least, for now, the biggest danger is taking the slide a bit too fast!

  • LauraCYMFT June 18, 2014 at 8:02 pm

    Gorgeous photo and such a lovely post. I don’t think we ever stop worrying about them. I don’t think we’d fit the Mum job description very well if we did.

  • Sarah June 18, 2014 at 7:54 pm

    Oh my, how beautiful and I can so relate and understand your feelings x

  • EmmaK June 18, 2014 at 6:55 pm

    My little one is only four but I think there is something in this post every parent can relate to. I often think I’m constantly taking a breath…and holding it way too long! Great post and lovely photo.

  • Molly June 18, 2014 at 3:44 pm

    My son is 14, nearly 15… and I will admit that I am soooo looking forward to him being just the little bit older and able to take more responsibility for himself… I don’t ever mourn the lose of my little boy but I celebrate the emergence of a grown man


  • Merlinda Little (@pixiedusk) June 18, 2014 at 3:42 pm

    This is so beautiful. I kept on re-reading it. I think that they grow taller, older, better and we always view them as our baby. #thegallery

  • Amanda June 18, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    Oh my goodness, my twins are only 5 and I feel the same. Doesn’t matter what they do, I always find myself holding my breath until I know they are ok

  • Kelly Wiffin June 18, 2014 at 8:45 am

    This is a lovely post. I don’t think that a mothers care for a child ever gets any less. My mum is on the phone to me and she almost holds her breath when I cross the road when on the phone to her. In a way it is nice!

  • Sarah MumofThree World June 18, 2014 at 7:49 am

    My kids are younger (12, 10 and 8) but I can totally relate to this, as Scout camps and school residentials are now a part of our lives. This weekend my two boys are going power boating on Scout camp. My baby boy! He’s only 10. I know they will be well supervised, but I’m terrified, quite frankly.