You know that moment?
That moment, when as a parent, you realize that your child is pulling away, growing distant and pushing the boundaries of independence?
That moment when you look down, realize that she’s no longer your “little girl”, but a full-grown human being, and she is looking you square in the eye, without being picked up. That moment when the pain lodges itself just under your ribcage, squeezing your heart into a massive knot of “I don’t wanna let her grow up!”
That moment when you’ve had enough of the attitude and smart-mouth combination. That moment when you say quietly to yourself “Get this kid out of the house before we both go completely around-the-bend-insane and we commit hari-kari on each other!”
That moment, when you are totally at a loss for words, because you find out something that they’ve been keeping from you, either because they don’t know how to tell you, they don’t want to tell you, or they simply forget to tell you. That moment when, just for a split second, your brain hiccups and can’t think – at all.
That moment when you realise that your child, that baby that you held in your arms just yesterday– has a whole life to which you are not privy. Not just what happens at school, but out in the world at large, you are not a player, and are barely a spectator because your star athlete has put you in the nose-bleed section – behind a pole.
And then, there’s that moment when you realise that, in fact, this is something that’s been building for a long time. It started the day you had a child handed to you in the hospital, and people started calling you a “parent”. From that moment on, your darling angel worked toward that moment of separation. Baby steps to begin with, then the tentative jog of a pre-teen, until it reached a full-out run for their life – as a teenager ready to graduate.
This is natural. This is normal. Children grow up – they get lives of their own – and they leave their parents to fend for themselves. Often, the struggle for freedom is just that – a struggle. While we as parents see this?
Our children are seeing something completely different. Their perception of the world around them, and their bid for freedom from tyranny looks something a little more like this —->
My YoungerDaughter has hit this moment. Like a brick wall.
And while I wish her the all the best in her endeavors as an adult – I still have trouble cutting the ties. It’s hard to let them go.
So, I tell her, “I knew this was coming from the moment you were born. I’ve thought about it, planned for it, and both dreamed and dreaded it through the years. And while I’m happy and proud that you are confidently taking this moment to declare yourself……
That doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt.”
But this is how it goes.
I will go hug my 3-year old and 9-month old when I get home from work. I do both dream and dread this day in the future when they’re looking me square in the eye, or (perhaps more likely at the rate my boys are growing) when I will turn around and have to look UP to look one of them in the eye.
Thanks for this post. I will appreciate the hard times of raising small children since I do know (and you’ve reminded me) that these moments are fleeting.
Love them hard! 😀
You hit it on the head. One day it really hits you. My first “baby” just turned 25 yesterday. My they grow up fast.
Yes. Yes, they do. *sob*
Oh dear me … this brings back so many feelings. My “baby” will be 29 later this month. And I still feel this way. *hugs*
*HUGS* back atcha.
I love this … have had same experience recently. Love, love, love “that doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt” x iz
I’ve been through it once already, with ElderDaughter – and have to go through it 1 more time with OnlySon… it’s never the same experience twice, & yet it never changes.