I don’t feel the sting of my kids growing away from me on the big moments: the first day of kindergarten or the first time they each took their first steps. I didn’t shed tears; rather, I looked excitedly ahead to the next big milestone.
I guess I’m a little different, in that I feel the jab of separation during the littlest milestones: the ones that ambush me when I least expect it and tell me that my child just did something that makes him less mine and more himself.
When Boy Wonder poured his own milk.
When he wiped his own butt (boy, was that ever a day for rejoicing!).
When he went on his first sleepover.
When Little CEO logged onto the computer alone for the first time.
When Boy Wonder experienced being rejected by a friend.
When Little CEO began opening books and reading them alone.
When I moved to grab Little CEO by the index finger and found she was tall enough and big enough to put her entire hand in my own.
When I became the victim, and not the doler-out, of sarcasm.
When Boy Wonder became able to ride every single ride at any amusement park.
When he got a stomach bug and, instead of puking all over his room, he calmly went into the bathroom and puked in the toilet.
When Little CEO sleeps longer than I do.
When Boy Wonder became much too large to pick up and carry around.
When Little CEO started to hide stuff from me (okay, so it was mostly rocks, trash, and candy wrappers, thrown in the corner of her closet. She’d rather put them there than throw them away).
When both children began to prefer playing with each other, using their own inside jokes and lingo, than playing with me.
When both children were able to play a board game for ages 8 and up.
When Boy Wonder had enough self-awareness to recognize that he wasn’t good at something.
When I stopped having to pick up Little CEO to wash her hands at a sink in a public restroom.
When both kids began ordering food for themselves at restaurants.
When Boy Wonder stood in front of a panel of TaeKwonDo judges for the first time and performed his forms.
When Little CEO fought stage fright and danced in her school program.
When I cannot help Boy Wonder with his homework because I don’t understand it.
When Little CEO asks me questions to which I do not have an answer.
When Boy Wonder walks a block ahead of Little CEO and I on the way to school.
These are my daily taps on the shoulder that remind me these two little beings are not only growing up, they are growing away. Every single minute of every day, they grow away.