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Tuesday, October 07, 2008

I Don't Need You, Mommy

Today something happened that made me realize my little boy had grown up, just a little bit.

The four of us - Things 3, 2, 1, and myself - trudged home from the bus stop after picking Thing 1 up after school. Thing 1 and Thing 2 bounced across our still-green front lawn with excitement and anticipation, because they know what happens after we come home from the bus stop.

They scurried in the house so that I could take care of business. I needed to feed Thing 3, and I needed to get them a healthy snack. We grabbed a couple of bananas and they sat and gobbled them up. I fed Thing 3, changed her wet diaper, and headed to the front door. The other two Things were already there, waiting for me, with their shoes on.

"Hurry, mommy, hurry, let's go, let's go!" was all I could hear as I scrambled to grab Leah a warm sweater that coordinated with what she was wearing.

And off we headed, to walk the 50 or so yards it takes us to get to the park across the street from our house. We were in luck and all the neighbourhood children were already there. It was a mild and sunny day, so parents and day care providers alike were making the most of the best autumn day we'd had this week. I could see from a quick glance that all the boys' little friends were there, and I knew they'd be thrilled.

As we approached the spot where I would park our red wagon and make our "home base", I noticed the boys that Thing 1 likes to play with were off a bit in the distance, in an area covered with trees. They often like to play Star Wars or some other game and chase each other around.

I looked at Pete and said, "would you like me to walk you over to the other boys?".

I said this because this is something I did most days. For the first couple weeks after school started, I helped ease him into this situation each afternoon, and had even on several occasions gone over and mentioned to the other boys that Pete wanted to play with them.

Today my heart sank a little bit as my four-and-a-half year old little boy looked back at me with his big blue-as-the-ocean eyes and answered,

"No, it's ok, mommy, I'll go over there all by myself."

And he did, go over there all by himself. His confidence was glowing as he joined in the game already in progress and started running around with boys who were easily two to four years older than him. They included him, like they do every day, and everyone seemed to have a perfect afternoon.

One of the other moms there today witnessed what had happened and said to me, "it's hard when they don't need you anymore, isn't it?".

She hit the nail right on the head.

So often my life is so rushed and busy, I'm often moving at an alarming rate and never really *get* when older people tell me to "slow down and enjoy THEM, because they grow up so fast".

Today at the park it truly became a reality for me. They really do grow up so fast. And there is my big boy off playing with the big kids, all by himself.


Jen said...

I'm not much of a country fan, but I do like that Trace Atkins song "You're Gonna Miss This". So many times we want them to do things and then once they do it we feel sad that they don't need us. Parenting is much harder than I ever thought it would be.

C! said...

It is scary - how fast it happens. You get through the day to day and then suddenly have a moment like that and realize, that is it, your oldest is almost 5 and our "cran-boys" will be THREE? THREE?? I remember being 3, I can remember that - my little boy is at a point where he will remember things when he's 40...scary, and good of course, but makes me feel like just taking a day off for play - I am, tomorrow, a random Thursday. I am so glad Pete is doing so well, and is such a confident little boy - good job mom, you are an inspiration!
Oh - and I read your previous post...the baptism and Thanksgiving sound like so much fun - it is those family times that your 3 Things will forever cherish. Happy Thanksgiving!!

Donna M said...

It is amazing watching the little ones grow up and experience new things. Makes it all worthwhile at the end of the day!

dougnlarry said...

I'm so happy for him! I remember how hard it used to be to be away from you and this is a huge deal! Congrats!

I know it's hard, but it's really great that he's growing.

And can I say how jealous I am that you've still got warm weather? We're only getting to 10 today. :(

Heather @ Cancer Mommy said...

Don't worry, I am pretty sure little boys always need their mommys. We just have to make them secure enough to do things on their own. Growing up sucks though!

Anonymous said...

Oh Miss Crafty Mom, what a sweet post!

I love the way you described his "...all by myself..." response to your offer. You painted a wonderful picture of the entire scene so we could kind of all watch it through your eyes.

We don't have any little ones unfortunately, but we have heard many variations on this theme from friends and relatives. And, oh my, it always seems to strike when least anticipated.

Cool post!


P.S. Thanks for visiting - we love your blog!

Tammi Hayne said...

What a beautiful entry of those Kodak moments for the heart.

Laural Out Loud said...

He'll always need you! Just in different ways as he grows up. What a great mom you are, though, for helping him integrate into his group of friends. Kudos to you on that.

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