I knew it was coming. As the days passed, and the kids grew older, I knew this time was coming. One day, I would no longer be required to attend parties or school events.
It starts in elementary school. In the beginning, you go with your kid to birthday parties and school activities. You relish going on field trips. Your child smiles when he sees you at the school. Or she gladly holds your hand as you walk through the zoo.
But then about second or third grade, you begin to just drop your child off at birthday parties. No longer do you have to stand awkwardly with the other parents as you watch the party games. Or if you are lucky you know some of the other parents and your time passes quickly. This stops at about the age of 7 or 8. (Maybe earlier or later depending on your child or perhaps where you live.)
During soccer practice or gymnastics, you sat through the class/practice – though sometimes that was because the practice was not long enough to leave, or it was too far to return home during that short of a time.
Throughout the elementary-school years, I have attended many after-school events with the kids from science night to art shows or choir performances. And my kids typically hung out with me at these events though sometimes as they grew older, they would venture off with friends for some or perhaps the whole time.
And then, this past year, Jase began going to middle school. There have been fewer events there, but he and I still braved an absurdly cold day in April to attend the History Fair together. But many of the other students there were with their friends and not their parents. The other parents I saw also had sixth graders. So I know what is coming…next year, I may not be coming with him at all.
And then just a few weeks later, it happened. There was a comic con at his school. Jase invited his sister to go with him. I left it up to him if he wanted me to come in with them or to just drop them off at the front door of the school. Yep, you guessed it. I wasn’t wanted. Oh, my fourth-grader wanted me to go, and in all honestly, Jase probably wouldn’t have minded.
Instead, I dropped them off at the middle school and picked them up an hour later. Jase met up with friends who are all use to Lexie joining them. (She has been tagging along since she was 4.) It felt a little odd. But now as I write this, I realize it has been coming.
For a while now, we have let the kids stay home for short times by themselves. No longer do I have to load them in the car for a quick trip to the store or to pick up a prescription. It was great to be able to run a few errands without listening to them complaining about going.
Yes, their independence is growing, and as it does, their dependence on me has lessened. A part of me is sad. Yet another part of me knew this was coming and recognizes that this is the way it has to be.