Who Else Would Know My Child Better Than Me?
In Michael Thompson's 'Homesick and Happy,' Fran Miller sends her son off to camp when he was only ten years old. Sometimes it is challenging for a child to leave home for such a long time, but often, it's even more difficult for the parent to let them go. Throughout Andrew's childhood, his mother assumed the role that parents generally assume in the lives of their children: as both the primary caregiver and as the last lifeline for her son in times of crisis. If something were to happen to Andrew, Fran wanted to be the one in charge of initiating the response— after all, who else would know her son better? Who would she trust to care when she's not there?
The question that a concerned parent might ask herself is, "if there is a problem, what can I do?" But the truth is, as a child gets older, parents need to start asking a different question. Being a first and last line of defense for a child can create a supportive and safe environment for that child to grow, but trying to be everything in between can be stifling. Letting go for the summer, giving a child more autonomy, trust, and confidence can be empowering for a child to develop his independence.