Next 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’.