Yesterday at the playground, Jack took a leap. Literally. Right off of a 4+foot play structure. I missed it the first time. Another mom and I were chatting and she said, "I think Jack just jumped off the play equipment." But she wasn't 100% sure. I looked over and thought aloud that he was normally cautious and must have just lowered himself.
We returned to our conversation and a few minutes passed when the other mom said, "He definitely just jumped." So I turned to fully watch and see what he would do. He proceeded to climb up the ladder, stand on the edge and fling himself at the ground.
I wasn't really sure what my response should be. The ground is mulch and he could obviously make the jump, but the mom in me sees the potential disaster – a cracked head, a broken bone, or the like. I thought about the jumps I have made as I got older – first off of rocks and from trees, then eventually off of the roofs of houses and from cliffs and bridges into bodies of water.
So I went and talked to Jack about the importance of jumping forward and only if there was mulch at the bottom. It was a moment of letting go. One of many that we will come across in the years to come I'm sure. Parenting is hard. You want to hold on tight while simultaneously knowing you have to let go.