Friday, April 03, 2009

SOTPping For Gracie and The Bike Ride

It's my pleasure to introduce you to Cecily of My Chaos, My Bliss. You know, in case you haven't met her yet. Chances are, you have. She's one of the masterminds behind Photo Story Friday, she's an ambassador on the Fishful Thinking campaign hosted by Pepperidge Farms, and she's just plain amazing. If only a pinch of her mothering skills were to rub off on me, my kids would be very happy. Have I mentioned that she takes amazing photos of her children?
"You need to let her go, " he said.
But I didn't want to let her go.
"PLEEEEAAASE! Can I go, Mom?" She wailed.
Oh, I didn't want to let her go!
"It's time. You should let her go," the voice of reason said.
I couldn't even say yes. I just nodded and gave her a hug. She ran out the door before I could change my mind. She was smart. I did change my mind. Three or four times.
"She's been gone a while. When can I panic?" I asked.
Shaking his head, he laughed, "It's only been five minutes."
"I KNOW! I asked when I could panic."
"When it's been 30 minutes. "
That was the day Gracie went on a bike ride. Without me. Without her dad. He was okay with it. He wanted her to have great memories like he did as a kid. He thought of those things. I thought of her going off the curb and cracking her head open. I was a mess.
It was only down the street. She went with our neighbors, two older girls that I know adore Gracie and would protect her. It was still hard.
Ten minutes after my five minute panic attack, she breathlessly ran into the kitchen.
Coolly, I asked, "So. How was it?"
I forced myself to breathe again.
Her eyes were shiny. Her feet were light as air. She was glowing. Jon was right. It was a time I needed to let her go.

Gracie is the kind of kid who is easily inspired.
One round of putt putt golf and she spearheads the construction of her own hole in the back yard. One lesson in school about the food pyramid and I get 287 questions a day about whether things are good for her. One evening to see Annie with her grandpa and she is prepping for auditions and practicing vocal scales.
And one taste of freedom on a bike and she is planning road trips and trying to work me over.
"I'll be safe."
"I'll go with Isaac."
"Mawwwwm. Its only to the playground!!"
"Because. To get to the playground you have to cross a busy street. And what if cars don't see you? That scares me."
At that moment, I actually watched a light go on in her head.
"I'll be back."
And several minutes later, she was.
"I made a sign Mom!! The cars will see the sign. Then they will stop. And I will pray. We will be safe."

I praised her creativity and her sign. I grabbed my camera. I smiled to myself about her inherited spelling talent. We talked about prayer and protection and safety.
But that time, I did not let her go.
Instead, we went to the park as a family. Perhaps, that was the real reason behind her inspiration after all.

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek


April said...

The whole process of letting go is something I'm continually working on. My oldest daughter is 17 and she'll be off to college in a year (sniff, sniff). Without a doubt, it will be one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. Thankfully, my daughter is quite independent, so when she's to the point of stretching her wings, she's going to FLY!

This was such a wonderful post...definitely put a lump in my throat! Your daughter's "SOTP" sign is precious!

Leah said...

Beautiful post. Really captures your love.

Ronda's Rants said...

Oh...the faith of a child!
Beautiful post!

Sam_I_am said...

oh my gosh, she is adorable. I love her sign.

Anonymous said...

That is a great story. I know what you mean by all of that. She is a very smart girl :) Thanks for sharing!

Alicia W. said...

What a great Friday story! Love her sweet personality and how smart she is. Enjoy your weekend.

Kelly Deneen Raymond said...

*sniff* This post made me tear up! And I love her sign. :)

Nicole said...

It's scary to let them grow up! I know my oldest is 9 and wants to be sooooo independent and I have to let him. I can still try to say no though.

Casey's trio said...

So nice to see Cecily vacationing at your blog today!

Unknown said...

Hey Cecily!! I LOVE that sign!

T Rex Mom said...

S-O-T-P - what a great sign - did it just not melt your heart?!?

Alex the Girl said...

It's like, you should be proud for raising independent children, and then kicking yourself for raising independent children.

Great photos.

Megan Licursi said...

This one brought tears to my eyes for some reason. Great solution to the "problem" of an independent thinker. And, an even better post.

Kacey said...

She is just precious.

Amy said...

that is a great post. So sweet. I think I am going to be the same way with my little one. She is only one right now so I am enjoying the kisses, hugs, and her wanting to be with me. I know that will change.

Carrie and Troy Keiser said...

I love Cecliy .... her stories and her photos! Thanks for sharing a little more of her and her great kids with us.

Mark and Kiss said...

Wow! Cecily, I am the same, and have a really tough time letting the kids go....ahhhhh it is torture. I love having my little brood around me, because I know they are safe and sound. I have also seen the growth that comes to them when they do things on their own...

Great post! The sign was precious!

Rachael Schirano \\ Rachael Schirano Photography said...

oh wow, i don't even know where to begin. this post was wonderful, from beginning to end. i loved every last word. as a mother, the pain of letting go, knowing you have to eventually and still not wanting to even when you know it is time. oh and that the sign, and the ingenuity behind it. you have a beautiful daughter. you are a beautiful mother.

Unknown said...

There's so much I love about this post I'm not sure where to start. From the idea of letting her go on her first solo bike ride to that awesome "sotp" sign. Just wonderful! : )

tiarastantrums said...

Hey Cec - guest poster - I remember this from a prior post - it was adorable then and still is!!

Elyse said...

LOVE this beautiful post :)

Aunt Julie said...

Once, when my daughter was about Gracie's age, she decided it was time to ride her bike-by herself-to the community pool. After she took off down the street in one direction, I took off down the street-via car-in the other. She got there a few minutes before I did, and had already gone into the facility when I arrived. I just wanted to check the bike rack, to make sure she made it!

Swirl Girl said...

How Sweat!
or Sweet!
LOL! said...

Children are amazing in their creativity. Thank you for sharing such a sweet story.

Chris said...

I remember this one -- you have magic in your words Cecily! And to see you both here at the Seven Clown Circus -- I feel so unworthy to even be commenting!

Jill @ Sneaky Momma said...

I have a HUGE fear of people getting hurt on bicycles. Weird, huh? I cannot even imagine the day when my little girl hops on a bike for the first time. Of course, I will let her enjoy the rite of passage that is learning to ride a bike, but that doesn't mean I won't be totally panicked the entire time. :)
Beautiful post, Cecily.

scrappysue said...

i love your stories cecily!