Last week, I took a teensy step forward and let Lizzie walk home from school on her own. She's nearly eleven (well...she is in eight more months), lots of her friends walk home from school and I can see the school from my front walk. It was only a matter of time, really.
I was really nervous that first day. I watched both the clock and the sidewalk anxious for her return, all the while imagining crazy, horrible things. Then, I began taking deep breaths to calm myself until I saw her coming down the street, lugging her backpack. Of course, I immediately scooted away from the window and went about nonchalantly doing some idle housework as though I hadn't been the least bit worried about her.
It took her all of five minutes to get home but those were the longest five minutes of my life (aside from labor, that is). So, we tried it again the next day. And, the next. I think we've both got the hang of it, now. And, you know what? Letting go wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.