By allowing him to be on his own for an extended period of time has signalled the beginning of his independence. His lessening need for his parents assistance. His growing up.
I didn't want to face it. I wanted our kids to stay our little ones forever. When they no longer depend upon us for everything and anything, it tells me that I am growing older too. It won't be too long before we will no longer need babysitters. We'll be able to leave whenever we want, but will we want to? I know when the kids were little they would often drive me crazy by following me around everywhere I went and not allowing me a minute's privacy. Now I find myself seeking them out in the house when I realize that I've been sitting alone in front of the television for twenty minutes. I'm not ready to not be the center of their universe yet.
I know I have to let them go sometime, but I don't have to like it. One sign of N1S's evolution was a conversation we had recently. He had invited a friend to come over on Friday. On the day before, I asked him if he was excited that his friend was coming over to play the next day. He said, "Dad, don't say 'play' anymore. Say, 'coming over to hang out'." So now he's too old to play.
In the other bedroom, his little sister, like many younger siblings, is trying to keep up with her big brother in everything. She has already tried to set up her own playdates with her friends on many occasions. Without telling us anything about it. On one occasion, her friend's parent actually showed up to drop off their kid without calling ahead. Luckily, we were home at the time.
It won't be long before there are many things we, as parents, will be left out of. As the kids grow they need their own lives and privacy. We just have to hope that they know that they can always come to Mom and Dad when they need it. No matter how old they are, they can always be our little ones again.
This year I may let N1S light a few of his own fireworks for the fourth. And I'm sure Sweet Pea will right in line asking when it will be her turn.
Have a safe and sane fourth everyone. Celebrate with a big 4th of July family play date.