Gary and Colter and I went to the State Fair last weekend and it was the first time that Colter has refused to hold my hand. He said he felt silly and embarrassed. After I stopped my heart from bleeding, I agreed to try it handsfree. He's 8 years old, he had my cell phone number in his pocket, and I have to accept that he's growing up.
We talked about safety, and then I let go.
Imagine how happy I was when he instinctively reached for my hand or arm several times as we wandered from game to game and ride to ride.
Maybe the lesson is that when I let go, my son sees how much he really wants to hold on.