I knew it was going to happen at some point, but I didn’t expect it to be so soon—or sudden, for that matter. I walk my six-year-old son to and from school every day, and truly cherish those moments. He’s typically chatty during the ten-minute walk, opening up about subjects he loves (or hates), his day’s adventures, and even the classmate who is annoying him the most.
Earlier this fall, during one of the first few weeks of first grade, I bent down to give him my standard goodbye kiss and was promptly brushed off as he bolted inside to catch up to a friend. Ouch! I stood there almost out of breath, so taken aback by what had just happened. Then, like a ton of bricks, it hit me—my kisses weren’t cool anymore.
I won’t lie: I walked away from the school in a panic and dragged my feet the entire way home. The morning’s event had marked the official “growing up” of my little guy—a true testament that he didn’t need me for everything anymore. This was a very scary concept for me to grasp, and it left me to deal with emotions that I wasn’t sure I was ready for. But, as an adult, I had to stand tall, roll with the punches and navigate my way through not being cool anymore. Here’s how I survived.
Accept the change
Allow these changes to wash over you—there’s no other choice! Life brings constant change and being a parent means that we must deal with change on a daily basis. After all, I’m pretty sure your kids change their favorite color, food or game each and every day. (I know my son does!)
Talk about it together
The day I realized my kisses were no longer cool, I talked to my husband about it, who urged me to talk to my son. Talking it through helped him understand how I was feeling, but also let him know how proud I was of him growing up.
Let it go
Yes, I know—many of us are sick of hearing this song but it sure does have a great message. I realized that I had a very specific idea of how I thought my son would grow up—and the time in which everything would take place. Looking back, it’s almost comical that I thought I could control this, and that these milestones would take place on my schedule. It’s not about me. It’s about him growing up and I needed to acknowledge that.
Have you experienced this with your kids getting older? How did you deal with it?
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This post was originally published on Mommy Nearest Magazine.