Let’s move beyond 90’s lyrics now please ;P
It occurred to me this morning that I’m now missing an entire week of my son’s life. An entire week I will have to hear about second-hand. It’s weird to me. In almost twelve years, he’s only been away from me a handful of times. We didn’t start going away overnight without the kids until he was seven. So using that math, and factoring in a few other occasions, in just shy of five years, he’s been away from me overnight roughly twenty times. Twenty nights out of 4,380 (minus a few, it isn’t quite his birthday yet). That goes for all of my kids, really. So twenty nights, times three, out of 5,110 really. And on those nights, he is still with my dad, his brother & sister, his aunt & possibly his uncle. Not strangers. Not 1,000 miles, four states!, away from me.
Is it a small, insignificant percentage? Absolutely. Am I crazy excited to find out what he’s done all week? What he’s accomplished? What he’s learned? How awesomely independent he is? Sure am. I know he had an amazing week. I know he will come home with excited stories about what he did, who he met, and how much he wants to go back!
But at the same time I am bummed that I missed out on it too. I think this is part of growing up as a parent. We always focus on our children growing up, but we often forget that we need to grow, need to mature, need to change, as well. I am watching my, in many ways, most dependent child come into his own. It’s exciting. It’s scary. It’s huge.
I’m a bit ashamed (embarrassed? surprised?) I’m not nearly as worried about the little one, who was dropped off yesterday evening for a weekend event at our local Girl Scout campgrounds. I checked her in, she barely glanced at me as she said goodbye. As opposed to the boy, this had nothing to do with her home troop. I have no idea if she knows anyone there. She was aware of this. She is a social butterfly. Off she flitted! Don’t get me wrong. I can’t wait to hear about her weekend tomorrow as well, but I’m not quite as in shock about missing her barely two days (6PM Friday to 10AM Sunday) as I am about missing a full eight days of the boy. I know she’s more equipped socially than he is. So much of social norms is still lost on him.
So yah. It’s been a week of me reminding myself that my children are growing up. They’re ready to go and do things on their own. It’s one step closer to the “end goal” of them moving out and being on their own. Of knowing what to do and how to do it. I get that. It doesn’t mean that even though my end goal (adulthood!) is the same as theirs that I’m not fighting myself every step of the way.