Stepping Back + Letting Go {Back in My Day}

September 4, 2014

By Erin Buhr 

My daughter is climbing again. In the brief moment is took me to walk from the parking lot to the playground, my daughter who sprinted ahead has already begun mounting a curved ladder into the sky. At two she is seemingly fearless. She is drawn to obstacles and seeks out challenges. These are qualities that I want to encourage, but my heart leaps into my throat every time I see her stretching towards the sky. I am tempted to stop her and pull her back to the safety of the ground. I take a breath and step back. Our generation of mothers seems to worry more than our mothers. We hover. We cringe. We warn. Why are we so fearful? When I was a child I was a climber. I hung from monkey bars at two. I scaled the apple tree in our backyard. Around age 4 my dad walked into the kitchen to find me sitting on top of the fridge. I do not remember him being happy that I was about 7 feet up in the air squirreling cookies from the cabinet and tossing them down to my toddler brother. His displeasure however had more to do with the stealing of cookies than my climbing. I have no doubt I occasionally made my parents nervous and I have a few scars marking my adventures forever on my body, but there was a freedom back in our day. We were free to get dirty. To explore. To climb. This is the beauty of childhood is it not? The freedom. The wonder. ebuhr

Despite my inner fear, I stand under my daughter and watch. She is carefully stepping from rung to rung. She is concentrated. She is proud. I attempt to discard my fear by taking out my phone and snapping a picture. It captures her small body mounting towards the sky. When she reaches the top I smile at her. She is safe. She is also strong, independent, and a climber. These are the traits I praise. I focus on her accomplishment, pushing my worries further from my mind in an effort to let go a little. To embrace the wonderful person she is and take a step backwards to my childhood days.




ebuhr-1Erin Buhr is an early childhood educator, freelance writer, and mama of twin three year olds. She lives with her family near Jackson, MS where they enjoy playing in the sunshine and traveling to new places. She blogs at Bambini Travel (

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