When I went to Rome, I walked onto a road where people were watching street performers dancing for money. Everyone was in awe. A huge circle surrounded them. You know what I did? I clenched my purse to my chest because I knew that it was all a trick for pick pocketers to steal money from tourists. A few minutes later, my guide told all of us to get away from the circle because there were gypsies amongst the crowd. I didn’t need to be told. I saw it for what it was the second it was in front of me. This is what it feels like to have NYC in your veins. You are able to see the ugly even if it’s pretending to be beautiful.
Today, my daughter is heading out – for the first time with friends – for a few hours after school and I am LITERALLY SICK TO MY STOMACH because that child doesn’t have a LICK of street smarts in her soul. She has been raised in a bubble and she has walked on pixie dust lined streets her entire life. Yet, here I am, allowing her to walk alone without me – at 11 years old. At 11 YEARS OLD! What is happening? I am actually having anxiety about this whole thing but I know that my town is safe and I know that hundreds of kids do this every Friday and I know that she will not be alone and I know that I will track her because of the Apple Gods. But I also know that if one mistake happens I will forever regret this day.
My insides are telling me this is a mistake. The mother in me is telling me that I have to let go a little to allow her to grow. The stalker in me wants to hide in Dunkin Donuts and watch her every move. I don’t know how the generation before me released me and my friends. My grip is too strong. My knuckles are WHITE. But … she is running and I supposed I just have to stay back and watch her soar.