Learning to Let Go

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Zowie Kaye

Zowie Kaye

My Big Fat Greek Family – we love our food and love each other even more. We're a like liquorice allsorts, all a bit different. I’m a full time wor...

“Now Cameron, you walk straight there, don’t talk to anyone and I’ll see you later – I love you”

I still remember the sick feeling in the pit of my stomach when I watched my son walk off down the street on his own for the first time.  He was walking to my sister’s house which was literally a less than two-minute walk around the corner.

Message sent 7:57am: “he’s on his way – tell me when he’s there”

Message received 7:59am: “he’s here”

There we go – I managed to let go and he felt suddenly so much more responsible and grown up that he walked to aunty Tina’s house thereafter every morning before school.

Then came the question later that school year:

“Mum when I’m in year six – can I walk to school on my own or with my friends!”

“ABSOLUTELY not!”

This was not even something that was up for discussion, initially I was not even offering up an explanation to my son as to why.

No meant no. I was afraid, afraid of so many things and scenarios in my mind.

Yes, he has autism but he is in mainstream school, full understanding of expectations but he is also extremely naïve.  He does not understand why people would lie as that is not something that sits well with a logical mind.  When I was explaining online safety in gaming he said, “why would someone tell you they were someone else or a wrong age!”.

Or the time we bought a new car that he was excited to tell his friends about and another child said “well my dad just bought a Lamborghini “ and when I assured him that this child’s father had not bought a Lamborghini he was confused “but why would he lie”.

So now we are into year 6, his final year of primary school, I now have the makings of a fine young man in front of me.  A young man that is again asking if he can make his own way to and from school.

So, Google maps shows it’s a 10-minute walk.  There are no main roads, and literally one small cul-de-sac side road that must be manoeuvred to school’s destination.  A walk we have done 1000 times before and a route where we know so many faces – so why the dread.

I saw a post from one of the school mums online this week stating that her son would shortly be getting the bus home outside school twice a week.  This family live just around the corner from us and I made contact to see what the plans were.

So, our bus stop is 2 stops from school -  a five minute journey instead of a 10 minute one.  We shared our concerns with the fact the boys will be going to high school next year and are not streetwise and need to be helped in growing up – we took reassurance in that there are people on the bus daily that we know and I will have a family member strategically placed in operation “secret squirrel” for a few weeks to see how the journeys go.

So that’s it.  My boy is going to soon be taking his first “independent” steps in his ambition to be making his own way home from school.  We are starting small with two days and just the return journeys, we may later on in the year introduce a day where they will walk home.

I’m really trying to learn to let go.

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