Blogger, Writer, Urban Adventurer
It’s adult swim at our community pool and another mom and I are enjoying some solo time in the water watching our kids from afar as they zoom around the splash pad next to the pool giggling and taking full advantage of all summer has to offer.
I strike up a conversation with my fellow swimming mom, “This is the first summer where they can go to the splash pad by themselves. Feels like a whole new world.” She agrees and begins to tell me that now that her youngest can swim the length of the pool, she is finding them playing with bigger kids and ditching her more often.
I have been pining to reach the “sweet spot” of parenting for years now. That age when your kids are mostly independent, but aren’t old enough to ignore you completely. I was SO ready to be that “book reading parent” at the pool, but now that we are nearly there, I am finding it all a bit bitter sweet.
When your kids are tiny, most milestones are met with elation and record keeping. Rolling, crawling, walking, talking, etc. – it is all so exciting. These are the things baby books were created for.
With each passing year, our milestone moments are becoming subtler and constantly take me by surprise. A pattern is emerging where one of our kids will do something that I had underestimated their ability to handle, and then once I realize that they really are more capable than I thought, I am simultaneously thrilled and a little bit sad. It doesn’t upset me that they are growing up, that’s the goal, right? Our aim is to turn these kids into fully functional, productive adults. Yet, each time we actually achieve a new level of independence, a tiny bit of me mourns that there is no going backwards from here.
I think we need to add an appendix to the baby books for all of the non-major, but important-none-the-less big kid landmark moments.
Lately, I have been teasing our four-year old son. I keep asking him, “When did you get so big?” My favorite response to-date has been, “Tuesday, Mom. I got big on Tuesday.” While all three of our children have not mastered the above list completely, I know it is coming sooner than I think. Maybe next Tuesday.