Letting Go

Yeesh, this morning I put my kid on New York City public transportation (the bus) for the first time. Being that I first started walking home in second grade, and was taking the subway in crack-era Baltimore by fifth grade, I'd spent much of this summer lobbying (successfully) for more independence. I thought I'd be pretty emotionless about the whole deal. I was wrong.


I didn't exactly go to tears, but it's very hard to let your kid go off on their own and feel nothing. The problem is you remember this kid when he was utterly helpless. And now, like, he's not. And part of your job is accepting that. Anyway we got him one of those pay-as-you-go phones and he called when he got to school, so it's fine. My ultimate aim is to raise a son who's independent and knows how to navigate a city. Besides New York in 2010, has nothing on Baltimore in 1985.

A quick aside, as always with these things, this is memoir and not public policy. I make no recommendations as to the proper technique for other people's kids. There is only one fifth-grader in this house. He's the only one I truly know.

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well. Bestselling author Mark Bittman teaches James Hamblin the recipe that everyone is Googling.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

From This Author

Just In