SO…you spend your life teaching your children to do things. How to sit up; how to walk; how to dress themselves; how to tie their shoes; how to brush their teeth and hair. We have worked hard to teach our children how to clean bathrooms, do laundry, cook, do yard work and more. All so that one day they can be independent adults who can take care of themselves when they are out on their own. Then one day, your child (who is 12) looks at you and says, “It’s okay mom. I’ll be fine without you there. IF I need help I will ask some one to help me.”
Huh?? What did you just say??? Mommy interpretation of those words, “I don’t need you.”
I do a double take and shake my head. I ask, “You don’t want me to stay?”
Child, “Nah, I’ll be fine.”
Me, “Don’t you need my help?”
Child, “I’ve got it. And if I need help there will be plenty of people there who I can ask.”
Me, in a bit of shock, “Okay, well, text me if you need me.”
Child, “I’ll be fine Mom.”
Me, “Okay, but text me if you need me…I’m close!”
Child, “I will.”
Me, speaking passionately, “No. I need you to say the words to me ‘Mom, I will text you if I need you.'”
Child, looking at me as if I am weird and using a “you are weird” tone, “Mom…I’ll text you if I need you.”
Offer to help child get in with all their stuff. Child does accept that offer. So I walk the child in and as soon as the child walks off I feel the need to let the person in charge know that I am close! Text me if you need me!!
So, now I sit at home….wondering if she needs me. Reminding myself that this is part of what we have been working towards, yet in a bit of disbelief that we are getting there. It’s a weird, proud, sad, I can’t believe it moment. There are so many things that I need to be doing right now. But I only seem to be able to sit here and just ponder the moment. She’s got it… and I’m not there. She’s fine…. and I’m not there. Am I fine??? Still pondering that one. And yes, I know she still needs me. I am her mommy after all. It just seems like such a big growing up moment. One my head may have been ready for, but not so sure about my heart. I think tonight, when she gets home, I’m gonna hug her a little tighter and hold her a little longer. I’m gonna work harder to treasure each moment, remembering how quickly she is growing up. I’m gonna continue to teach her to do things and work to remember each special moment. She’s got it….Yes, I believe she does!