I understand why it happens, but I can't figure out for the life of me when it happened.
I dropped the kids off at school the other day and there was a bus blocking the road, so the kids got off there and walked the rest of the way. I yelled out, "Love you, have a good day at school," like always. Little man's response was, "Whatever." I tried to brush it off, but as I sat there waiting for the bus to move I saw this other little girl get out of the car behind me. She was probably a kindergartner. Her mother and her were blowing kisses back and forth and using body language to give hugs. The little girl got to the school, turned around, and continued to blow more kisses. Then she waved until her mom was no longer in her view. I started to tear up. I couldn't figure out if it was because it was such a tender moment I witnessed or because my children are past the sweet public displays of affection. Maybe both.
One of their first words is mama. They cling to you like no one else. You can't get anything done to save your life. They want to be held 24-7. You leave their sight for a second and their whole world crumbles as they begin fits of screaming until they can be safely reunited with you again. I remember anxiously waiting for the age I could drop them at nursery; counting down the days to get a couple hour break only to realize that they weren't ready to part with me yet. It took several months of going with them before I could wean them off me for those 2 hours. They wake up and want to be with you. They love to snuggle. Your name is like a broken record. When they start school they want you there at every opportunity. You're cool and they're proud to show you off to their friends. They like you.
So, when did all this change? I noticed thismorning that they don't come in my bedroom when they wake up anymore. I miss our morning moments. They make their own bowl of cereal and dress themselves. They don't want to be seen getting out of my car let alone having mom say mushy things in front of their friends.
I think it's some sort of master plan. Little by little they need you less and less until they are not dependent on you at all. I know it's important that they come to this otherwise they would never leave the house, but the process is so painful. You want them more and they need you less with every passing day.
I've really been aware of this lately. As they assert their independence there seems to be more of a battle of wills so to speak. I've decided I need to pick and choose these battles very carefully so that the time we have together can be more enjoyable.
Summer is just around the corner and I'm really looking forward to our lazy days ahead sandwiched between a few fun trips. On the upside, one of the perks of the children getter older is that they travel better. I'm not going to take this time we have together for granted.