Every mom has that moment -- the one where she realizes her baby is no longer her baby, one to keep and cuddle all to her heart's content, but a distinct human being who's learning to navigate the world without her.
Mine came this past March with Gav's first trip to the eye doctor.
Gavin sat in the chair and confidently answered every questions the doctor asked. I was simply there to take up space. It was the first time a doctor didn't look to me for the answers, and the first time Gav didn't look to me for help. How odd it felt to not be needed. How odd to realize it, too. (I suppose you can say the moment was bittersweet, though I'm learning more towards sweet much more than bitter. How can I even begin to resent his independence when that has my goal since day one has been to raise an independent thinker?)
This Easter, just a few short weeks ago, while in church, I looked at all of the little girls in their Easter best and found myself longing for the days of new dresses, white straw hats, and pretty little purses with a fancy hankie tucked inside. None of that for this particular mom, though, whose little man was beside her in his Easter best: navy pants, button-down oxford, and clip-on necktie. His brand-new shoes, fresh out of the box that morning, were already scuffed thanks to a gravel parking lot and a little-boy urge to kick every single stone possible.
He chose that same outfit to wear to the funeral home just recently. "These are better clothes, mom," he announced with authority, placing them on the ironing board and negating my choice of khakis and a nice polo shirt.
We go out to eat after karate each Friday, and he orders his own meals. Most times he says please and thank you with little prompting. When we shop, he picks out his own clothes and thinks about what will match.
So he really is turning into a little man, but don't worry -- he's still Chaos. When he's not sending his mom into shock because he remembered his manners, he's busy tearing around the house pretending to be a dog, driving his Match Box cars up my walls, and trying to talk me into baking insanely complex cookies just before bedtime. He continues to fall off of the kitchen chair and fake sleep when we do homework.
Yeah, he's six. I could be all mushy and say "where did the time go" and get all teary-eyed, but that's really not me. I know where the time went and, being that every day is a new adventure, how can I waste time getting weepy? I'm having too much fun to spend time wishing he was a baby again.