Friday, July 3, 2009

This Old Man

The kids are growing up so fast lately, it seems that just last week they were still sleeping in cribs. This thought really hit home with me recently. With the kids' busy schedules, it is hard to find time to get both kids to their activities on time. Last Spring was one of those times when I was at work and Lady Di needed to get Sweet Pea to her dance lesson. Number One Son had homework and piano to practice and he really didn't want to get dragged to his sister's dance practice anyway. I would be home in less than an hour and N1S is old enough to be on his own a little bit. Many of his friends and classmates have been on their own at home for years, but we have been dragging our feet in this regard. It's not that we didn't trust N1S to be on his own, we just didn't want to let our child be so grown.

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.


Anonymous said...

"I may let N1S light a few of his own fireworks"......

LB: you mean sparklers right? or those whip snap things? I might not be ready for this.


James (SeattleDad) said...

Reading this makes me want to 'play' as much as I can with Lukas, because it is just another sign that this time we have to be goofy and childlike with them is so fleeting. Thanks for sharing.

Lady Mama said...

I have the same fears. On the one hand I crave some time to myself, on the other I know there may never be a time again where I'm so wanted. It all goes by so fast.

creative-type dad said...

Yes, that time does fly by way too fast. It's scary...

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I'm a 40 year old dad of two. My wonderful wife, Lady Di, and I try to keep the kids from blowing things up here in central Minnesota.