Monday, May 16, 2011

Growing Up

With the school year coming to a close I realize that yet another door is closing behind us as parents. We will never have 'littles' again. There are no more babies or toddlers in our future, thankfully, and now we have big kids, and that is exactly what our two Things have become.  At some point, we became the parents of the big kids at the parties, you know, the kids who have to get the birthday girl out of the bounce house because she is crying. The kids who are older than all the other kids at the get together and end up herding the younger ones around. In truth we are lucky we have friends that have littles and have real big kids.
Both the Things will be in school all day next year and the requirements and the expectations people have for them are much higher than they used to be. No longer are they good just because there wasn't a screaming jag at the grocery store.  I am realizing that these are the teaching years, when they were younger it was just about them not disrupting the world and learning to be a part of it. Now we are teaching them how to navigate it and work in it as a fellow human. Suddenly there are questions about the people and world around us that go beyond why and how. There are social norms to be taught and Independence to be developed. Things are no longer issues about just about someone taking their toy, but about why someone has said something mean or untrue about them.
I am fascinated, exhilarated and a little frightened by all this. I have gone from being afraid I would drop a wriggling toddler, to trying to make sure I explain something honestly and appropriately enough that if they tell their friends, their friends moms won't be horrified and will still let them come to our house to play.  The wonder of toddler hood is being replaced by the indifference of not quite tween-ness.  The awe and magic of preschool is replaced by the information that school brings. The Things constantly quote Myth busters to me in explaining this thing or that.  They can Google or look up their questions vs stare open mouthed at my ability to produce an answer out of thin air.
Though there are things I miss about the cute little guy phase, I am so happy they are the big kids. Independence has brought us the occasional weekend sleep ins, when the kids get their own breakfast and can watch the toons till we get there. Quiet nights where every ones head is in their own book reading. Days when friends come over to play and we don't have to provide the interactions and activities that were once required.  They are becoming their own people, with their own likes and dislikes and it is now time for me to be in awe of who they are becoming.

Though you have to admit they were awfully cute littles

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