I woke up one day and realized that my baby is no longer a baby. Thinking about it brings happy-sad tears to my eyes. I’m extremely proud of my son and how much he’s grown and matured over the years, but at the same time, I’m scared that he will outgrow me soon and, I will become a mommy without a baby.
It all started one fateful day at school. We did our usual routine where I dropped him off at the school driveway. I got out of the car, pulled his bag out of the trunk, and walked up the steps with him. Then I leaned down to kiss him. Usually Tristan would reach up and meet my kiss halfway, say “I love you, Mommy”, and I’d tell him to enjoy his day and that I’d pick him up after class before we parted ways. Well, that afternoon was different. I noticed when we got to the top of the stairs that he kept looking at a group of older boys out of the corner of his eye. And when I leaned down to kiss him, he angled his face so that I ended up kissing his cheek instead, all the while glancing at the bigger kids. Then he cheerfully said “Bye, Mommy!” and went to his classroom.
I stood at the top of the steps for a good fifteen seconds before I finally shook my head and got back in the car. I thought back on all the times that my friends would tease me about little boys growing up and not wanting to be seen kissing their moms in public.
After that day, I noticed that he would glance around before giving me a goodbye kiss in school, and if any of his friends were around, he’d just let me kiss him on the cheek. Oh my broken heart! The little boy who grabbed my hand tight and walked behind me on our first day at preschool would now confidently run to class as soon as he set foot on campus. No more hand-holding, no more hiding behind mom. It was time to face the fact that my baby was now a big boy.
I’ve always known that one day this day would come. I’ve always known that one day I would see that my little baby boy was growing up, and slowly but surely turning into a little man. This is an inevitable truth, and something that all moms have to deal with at some point. I know my son is only six, but all of a sudden I feel that he’s growing up so fast, maybe even a little too fast sometimes. Sometimes I think that he isn’t ready to do big-kid things. Then I stop myself when I realize that maybe I’m the one who isn’t ready to see him do these things on his own. And this isn’t fair to him at all. He needs to be allowed to grow, which means I have to let go and let him do his thing.
Even as I’m writing this, he’s showing me how much he’s grown. He’s sitting on the floor, playing with his train set – assembling the tracks on his own, thinking of how curvy he wants them to be and how far he wants them to stretch. Only months ago, he would sit and wait while someone else built the track for him, but now he says (and shows us all) that he’s big enough to do it himself. I’m really so proud of this guy, and completely speechless at his maturity.
A part of me thought that I’d be caring for the same little guy I have loved so much over the past years. Now I see that this isn’t so. Within my first six months as a work-at-home-mom, I got to know a brilliant, independent little boy who is as headstrong as his mom. Because I spent his toddler years working, I know I missed out on a lot of great times with Tristan. And it’s only now that I’m making up for it, both to him and to myself. I just hope that it’s not too late and that I still have enough time to be mommy before he starts to sprout facial hair and realizes that I am actually uncool. No matter how old he gets, in my heart this kid will always be my baby boy, always and forever.
How have you felt as you have seen your child(ren) become independent?
This is an original post for World Moms Blog by Mrs. P Cuyugan of the Philippines. She can be found blogging at Mrs. C’s Sugarcoated Life.
Photo credit to the author.