Teagan is at that stage where she wants independence. Sometimes more than we might feel quite ready to give.
Teagan was born with an internal sense of caution. Even as a baby, she didn't take big risks. She wasn't the toddler that you had to keep away from the stairs or tell not to climb on the back of the couch. She preferred staying close to mom or dad, having that sense of security.
As she gets older, that is still a blessing. Sometimes it can be a challenge because this sense of caution can show itself as anxiety. Sometimes it's awesome to know that I can send her to do a task and she can handle it completely on her own.
And sometimes I get to let her do a very little thing that really feels like a big huge grown up thing. This is where the major win and the major growth happens.
We do a 5K "together." And by together, I just mean we are at the starting line at the same time. She then runs her own race. I'm walking and doing my best. And she has the rules and guidelines to follow in order to stay safe along the course. She has to learn when to push herself, when to let herself slow down. She has to learn to gauge the crowd and the people around her.
I'm no dummy - it's not like I'm randomly signing us up for 5K's all over town and then just setting her free. But we've done 3 events now and each event had the type of controlled environment that I knew I could let her go a little more each time.
And there are other ways she gains her independence... other ways I have to let go and trust that she will succeed or fail but learn either way. Maybe climbing a rock wall at church camp and flying away down a zipline... maybe riding her bike around the block alone...
Maybe leaving mom and brother in the car and going in to the bakery to buy a couple of donuts...
She is blossoming. Growing. Changing. And I am glad that I have the opportunity to be here to witness it. And that I've got the ability to step back and let it happen. To watch her grow into her own skin and become her own person.