He’s Flapping His Wings…..But I’m Not Ready

Last Night Grand Master D went on the subway by himself. He was keen to do it but a little nervous too. The plan was to meet the King down on Chambers street. They were going to the Tribecca Film Festival. That’s a long ride from Harlem! So we looked at where he would go, double checked his phone was charged and that both mine and the King’s numbers were in there. Just checking of course. I downloaded the itrans NYC app for him in case he needed to navigate out of a mistake.

out in the world

He showered and prepped and then we headed to the train. My outer demeanour belied my inner terror, we must as parents, let go little by little, so our children can become independent. But it’s so damn scary. How do you put your first born onto the giant metal death trap and wave goodbye?  I asked as we walked to the station whether he wanted to just go in or if he wanted me to wait on the platform for the train with him. He preferred the latter. As he went to swipe in…those damn iridescent lights flashed ‘insufficient funds’. The card was empty! Good God, .. I didn’t bring my wallet… damn it.


So we had to use the $20 I gave him for ‘just in case’. Funny though, I’ve never used cash to buy a subway card, ever and it was hard!  I wanted to get a $10 card and give him the change but it wouldn’t give me enough change so I had to use the whole $20. What a way to up sell, well played  MTA, well played. Oh well. As the card came out of the machine the train hurtled into the station, it was the right one…We missed it.  That’s ok, it gave us the opportunity to discuss some scenarios and what to do ‘in case of’….you know kidnappers, hoodlums, paedophiles…. GIRLS.

The ‘B” train came and if we’d been with the King or if I were going we would have caught it and changed trains but Grand Master D chose to let it go and wait for the train he needed, changing the first time was just an added pressure he didn’t need. He was nervous, excited but still nervous. We laughed a bit about that, I understand completely, damn travel anxiety. The moment arrived as his train finally came and he hugged me and went to get on. I let him go, putting on a brave face, the horror reel playing in my head, making a mental note of his clothing for the police report later. Then he was back…for a second hug, such a sweetie. He was brave but needed that extra reassurance. I squeezed tight and said have fun, secretly dying inside.

As the train pulled out and I saw him sitting there, he gave me a big wave and I waved back. I walked out into the rain with my heart in my mouth, knowing than there was no way to even track him underground for at least 40 minutes. I texted the King to tell him the train time and headed home to wait. The King was already in place at the rendezvous…

I busied myself on facebook and twitter, looking for support and reassurance and well, sympathy … naturally 🙂 So I need attention sometime, don’t judge. The clock dragged on, slowly…. s      l        o        w       l        y  ….around it went like it was mocking me.

I couldn’t help myself, I texted The King the description of what Grand Master D was wearing, you know, so he would recognise him quickly if he came up across the street and not at the exact rendezvous point. (yep, that worked, I don’t look like an over protective mum at all). The reply txt was simple..no words, just this

he made it

HE MADE IT………….and He was SO DAMN PROUD!                  …actually, so am I 🙂

first subway ride


Comments 17

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  1. So proud of you my Aussie Sista! Letting go is so damn hard. I still get anxiety when Chanelle leaves out with her friends. It does get easier but the “momma anxiety” still rears its head.

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      I was terrified but I think I held it together pretty well. I can only trust in my parenting that I’ve given him the confidence to start to go out into the world. He’s only 12 so it’s still baby steps but this was a big one. Thanks for coming by.

      1. That’s so understandable. I remember an older friend telling me he used to travel by himself on the trains and buses at the age of 9! I personally couldn’t even imagine sending my son out alone that early.

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  2. Hey! The internets ate my comment! What I wanted to say was…you are SO strong. I have a hard time even letting my girls go to a friend’s house. What they NEED is a lesson in independence mommy-coptor free. I want to protect them so much that I can’t let them go. You are amazing. I mean that, MISS MOTHER LIFE. You are. I struggle with this every day. And some day soon, I’m going to have to let them go. And. I. Am. Terrified.

  3. Aw, he’s already doing better than my husband. We go to New York several times a year and that guy still can’t figure out the subway without me. It makes me sad, but I let it go because he’s cute.

    I’m visiting from the blog hop! 🙂

  4. I am not looking forward to the day I have to do the same thing. I can’t even feel comfortable letting my four year old walk next door by himself! Good for you for letting him go – experiences like that will give him confidence and independence. Good for you for knowing that. I can only imagine how nervous you must have been. *Cringe*

  5. Great for him! It can be confusing/overwhelming to do those things by yourself, especially at his age. And good for you for letting him go for it! I’m sure the moment was bittersweet. 🙂

  6. Wow, we live across the street from the elementary school my son went to and I walked him to his classroom door every single day and picked him up until he graduated in the 6th grade. And pretty much all the way through high school, too, to be honest! I don’t know if I could have done what you did. In the dictionary, my pic is right next to overprotective! Your boy looks so proud of himself!

  7. Oh my word, you are such my hero right now. That was beyond brave and took a huge amount of trust and faith and you did it! I’m sure that he felt that pride and your trust in him and that it made all the difference in the world. Such a great story. Thank you for linking it!!

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  8. His face is priceless….that is one proud boy. I give you lots of credit mama although my oldest is only 4 I can’t even imagine allowing him to cross the street along one day. ( I may need therapy I know) 😉 Great job allowing him to spread his wings and fly!

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