But, you know, it's difficult on this side too. You have a baby: you suddenly have to immerse most of the fibres of your being into keeping him alive, buoyant, content. Then five minutes/years go by, and now he's spending most of the day, for most of the week, somewhere else, with other people whose names you recieve only garbled versions of for months, making hard-to-describe art projects, and you're sort of sidelined.
At some point after total dependance, we'll all end up being chauffeur and ATM for our teenagers, and that's the way it should be. (And mentor, and guide, and stuff, but mostly the taxi service and the bottomless pit of money.) It's this no-man's-land of getting from one to the other that's a tough path to tread. When to hang on, when to push out, when to talk, when to keep quiet.
I remember primary school, and have no memory of missing my parents or being upset or not wanting to use the bathroom or feeling abandoned if nobody was there to get me in the first five seconds after the bell rang. I walked to school and back with neighbours, until my Dad let me ride my bike there. But then I realise that my day-to-day memories are probably from when I was nine or ten or eleven, not four or five or six. And thinking about when I had certain freedoms or didn't is almost completely irrelevant anyway: I was a different child in a different country in a different era.
Monkey doesn't want his freedoms too early. He likes to wait until he's completely confident of the weather and the flight plan and the machinery before taking flight. But once he does, he'll be off. And here I'll be, wondering what he's up to, wondering if my mother wondered too.