We are in California, visiting with my family, and Thea is socializing with her 2nd cousins. Watching from the sidelines is this nervous mother. I want to jump in. I want to explain that Thea is really loud and excited because she loves playing with other kids. I want to apologize for her rambunctiousness, chalk it up to nerves, and then make them embrace her. Except I don't. And I won't, because I know that this is how children learn to develop friendships. That this is what parents do; let go and hold their breath.
I know my daughter is a little whacky, she has oodles of personality flowing out of her like a river run wild. She loves people, she loves to give hugs, and she loves to be the center of attention. She is willful, stubborn, and loud. Qualities that may harm or help later in life. I know that when she starts school I will have to fight every urge to be "that" mother. I will have to stop myself from emailing her teachers on how best to engage her, on how best to calm her. I cannot be the mother that fixes the friendships or the assignments. I cannot be the mother that stops by just to check in.
I don't know how other parents do it. I do not know how they can place so much trust in their chld's teachers and just let go. I don't know how we as teachers can just expect it every year on the first day of school. But we do and we get upset when parents intervene too much. We shake our heads at their long emails,take a deep breath when they surprise us with another visit. I now understand the parents better. I now get the need to explain, to protect, to guide. I do it for my own child.