As much as my nine-year-old is attached to me, I’m just as attached to her. I have – as often as my schedule allows – always enjoyed taking her to school, including walking her to class. As a housewife, my schedule allows it, so this is what I’ve been doing all year.
Lately, she’s told me I don’t need to walk her in because she now prefers to greet her friends and walk to class with them. They seem to have organized into a little routine where they all meet at the same area near the drop-off area. They socialize for all of ten minutes before the bell rings.
I know it’s normal and I’m glad for the slow process of independence. I’d be sadder if it wasn’t this way, really.
Still, the mommy in me was a little sad when she first said this, and then started saying it regularly. At this point, I realize this is the new norm.
I liked holding her hand as we walked to class. I liked seeing the other kids who wave to her, or perhaps even me, because I’ve worked with them before as a volunteer. I liked depositing her safely in class and saying hi to the teacher. I liked being in that part of her world.
My husband thinks I’m funny. In the beginning I would slightly mope about it to him, that she didn’t need me as much. “My baby!” I whined. He would hug me and laugh, and promise me it’s OK.
And yeah, I know it is. It’s just like the little transitions I made when she broke free of breast feeding, when she started preschool, when she had her first sleep over, so on and so forth. My big girl!
She’ll learn and grow and need me even less over the years. I’ll be happy for her. But still: I’ve already warned her and her dad that she will always be my baby.