Our Kids’ Independence & Our Tears

Walking to SchoolTa-Nehisi Coates, a blogger for TheAtlantic.com, takes a break from his usual coverage of culture and politics to admit he got weepy this morning seeing his 5th-grade son off to school by himself for the first time on public transportation, a NYC bus. Coates’ tears came despite the fact that he supported his son’s greater independence and assumed he’d be “pretty emotionless about the whole deal.”

For me, it was dropping my daughter off in day camp the first time. And seeing her say good-bye to her friends and counselors at the end of the summer. And let’s not forget the first time she went to youth group in synagogue and told us it was ok for us not to stay with her. And letting her spend a night at grandma’s without us. And… You get the point. Yes, I can be a weeper. And yes, I am an advocate for her growing independence, and even push her–maybe sometimes too hard?–to take those steps even when she’s not sure. Still, a daddy can shed a tear or two when she actually listens and shows that she’s growing up.

Let us know in the comments: When have you gotten weepy at your kids’ accomplishments and independence? Ta-Nehisi and I will take comfort in your stories. Pass the tissues.

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