Last Friday evening, the girls and I went to my nephew’s birthday party. There were cupcakes, hotdogs, toys galore and a huge bounce house/slide.
Of course, as soon as I opened the doors of the car, Ashton (the soon to be five-year-old) ran straight to the bounce house, kicked off her shoes and disappeared inside. Kameron (the just turned two-year-old) was a little more hesitant. She pulled me with her cute little dimpled hand close by and made her observations.
After examining the steady stream of older kids tumbling up and down, in and out of the bounce house, she decided to take her turn, but I had to go with her. So, we took our shoes off and made our way in line.
Now this was a workout for me alone, but even more so when you’re pushing and pulling a two-year-old along. We did this about five times before I finally had to tell her it was time for a break. So, we walked over to join the adults and get a quick snack. She was fine with this for about 10 minutes before she was ready for round two. I had not seen Ashton since we got there.
I begrudgingly walked back towards the bounce house AKA the madhouse, not really having any desire to go back in. I stopped close by and was talking to my cousin when I looked over and saw Ashton helping Kameron inside. Two seconds later Kameron was on top of the slide and down she went all by herself. I internally and externally freak out just waiting for her to start screaming, flip off the side or get pummeled by a pre-teen. She just hopped down, and I made my way over to her. I grabbed her hand and told her, “I don’t like that.” She looked up and said, “It’s alright Momma.” Then, off she went again.
I am not exaggerating when I say that I almost broke down into tears like a blubbering fool but held it together.
I stayed close by because I am what you may call a helicopter mom, but for the most part, let her do her thing. I was obviously having a harder time just watching her than I was actually getting in and out of that bounce house.
It was a bittersweet feeling. A new stage achieved along my motherhood journey.
I was able to enjoy some time relaxing and visiting with some friends and family and Kameron was able to entertain herself for a little while. I was proud that she gained a newfound independence, but a little sad at the same time. It was one of many instances when I realized she was getting older and no longer my little baby.
I have gone through this same exact experience with my older two. They are spaced out pretty good with them being 9, 5 and 2. Between every one of them there was that same bittersweet feeling of being proud that they were growing up and finding their own way, but sad at the same time because each day that goes by it seems like they need you a little less. If you are a parent, you get this.
This exact bittersweetness was always a big topic of discussion between each kid when deciding if we wanted to have another one. “Do we want to have another one and start all over again? She is so independent and does things on her own. Do we want to have another one that relies on us for every waking moment all over again?” Obviously, the answer was “YES.” But knowing that this is for sure our last one makes it even more bittersweet.
Knowing from here on out, they are all going to continue to need me a little less. Sure, there will be times when they need me as they are growing up and experiencing difficulties that will surely come, but overall, they will just grow more independent.
I am proud and honored to have played a role in allowing them to grow into themselves. As a parent there is nothing more special than seeing your own child be self-motivated, confident and happy. But I will always be a helicopter mom through and through and will definitely remind them way more than they will probably appreciate that Momma is always here and will be anytime and every time they ever need me.
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