Its happening; a chasm. A timeline to explain:
2006: our son is born
2007: our son changes from baby to toddler
2008: our daughter is born
2009: we have a toddler and a baby and they are different because of this age variation
2010-2015: our son and daughter become ‘kids’ and are very much similar in their needs and abilities
2016: a chasm cracked and things are changing
He is changing at a rate faster than she is. She is still completely in the land of ‘kid’ and he is taking a step out of ‘kid’ into somewhere new and unfamiliar to our family.
He doesn’t need a car seat. She does. She wants to watch PBS kids. He wants to watch the Olympics (and I can’t blame him for that. I do too!)
He can’t wait until the day that he can stay home alone, whereas she loves being by my side everywhere I go. She mostly obliges to our household chores and expectations. He challenges.
She plays with toys. His toys are collecting dust and spider webs.
She thinks that I am her favorite person and awesome in practically every way. (But really, who doesn’t? 😉 ) I’m fairly certain that he realizes that mom is kind of lame in some ways. (Although he hasn’t admitted this out loud, I’ll admit it for him.)
They both reach out for my hand when we are walking together. They both love my hugs and affection. They want me to sing to them when I tuck them in and they want me to lay next to them and read my book while they fall asleep. They both wake up each morning with a chipper “good morning mom!”
They play together like kids too. In imaginary places hidden in our backyard.
They self admittedly want my guidance in social interactions with new adults and elderly people. Sometimes these things make them feel somewhat nervous and I’m their guide on how to look at people in the eyes and speak loudly enough to old ears to hear them.
We’ve all lived in the land of ‘kids’ for several years now where everything is pretty much the same. Same expectations, same bedtimes, same capabilities. Now he is starting to launch ahead and I can see it happening at its very beginning. I’m watching the very creation of a new era. He is still a kid, but he is being pulled and stretched into a new place.
This is where I am supposed to wrap this blog post into some kind of shiny package that sums up my thoughts with a bow on top. I am unprepared to do this. I’ve been roosting on this shift and trying to think of a good message to take away from it, but I don’t have one. What I have is only this:
Parenting is hard. He’s buckling in for the ride of a lifetime and I’m cinching my belt in the seat right next to him. He might not like it all of the time, and he might desperately need it sometimes, but I’m taking this journey with him because I am his mom. I don’t know how to do this. I’ve learned a lot in the land of ‘kids’ and I know practically nothing about what will come next. I’ll learn. I’ll be challenged. I’ll see him through. A time (many years from now) will come to let go, it seems like I cut more apron strings all of the time, but for now, its you and me buddy. We’ll give it our best go. And also: I love you.