Elli has been taking leaps forward in independence lately. She has taken up messaging her friends over email and gchat lately and this has led to them having random meetups in the neighborhood. It isn't anything especially exciting to me, just meeting up at 7-11 to buy candy, but to her it is a ball of endless excitement.
The real shift I am noticing is her wandering out of my sphere of knowledge. It used to be that I knew every book she read, every game she played, every place she visited. On each step of her journey outward I was, if not a companion, at least fully aware. Now she heads off to stores after school without me knowing, reads books I never knew she had acquired, and plays games I did not teach her.
It feels like a deep shift with small signs. She is finally stepping away not just in body, but in mind. She is pushing out into the world and doing her own thing, making her own decisions. I think this is something that scares a lot of parents and makes them hold on ever tighter, because that sense that you just don't know what your kid is up to is such a profound change from the total dependence of earlier years.
I like it though. It is really cool for me to hear about the things she has gotten up to, and to find out what she is doing that I did not anticipate. I like the whole independent little person thing. It helps that she is cautious and takes roughly the same risks that I am okay with of course. She is proceeding along the independence track at a speed that makes sense to me.
But that isn't all of it.
A real part of it is that I like the idea of an independent kid, one who has her own agenda, her own schedule, her own life. I want that. I am happy to be a part of it, but I am far more comfortable in a facilitator role where I give her the help she needs to do the things she wants to do rather than the micro manager role where I do everything and make choices for her.
I believe that it also has to do with my fundamental comfort with not knowing. I find that some people get really disturbed by not being sure about things and panic about whether or not they made the right decision. I am much more comfortable firing from the hip knowing that I made the best choice I could at the time and if it was wrong I will just deal with that. A gambler's outlook, to some extent, since when you are betting you have to be comfortable with putting money on the line with imperfect information.
My information is becoming more and more imperfect each day with regards to Elli... and that is okay.