So bringing my kids, the twins out to CA this week for camps at Stanford, tennis him, basketball her. There are not a lot of summers left with them home. 8th grade and middle school we have finished up this past month, high school is ahead. I am keenly aware of this as a parent. Are all parents keenly aware or is it just me? Do all parents recognize the time is flying by or do many parents just do day-to-day to look up when high school is over and think oh gosh it is here?
I wish I was more the that parent, who looks up and it is here, instead of being painfully aware that it was a blink they had the first day of kindergarten, then finished elementary school and headed into middle school. This year saw the most change physically in my son, already 6′ 5″ at 14! He leaned up, his face is thinned out, broken out, eyebrows fuller, hair on his legs more visible. he is a GUY not a boy. and I swear it happened between September and now this past school year.
My daughter started to look older somewhat the previous year but still she has grown an inch we discovered in about a year and if the doctor is right she will have a bit more growing to do. She hopes so for sure for her basketball goals, no pun intended.
This trip to CA though had its first teen “WOW”moment at the airport, boarding the plane for the first let of the trip. I got on, the kids were in a later boarding group. My daughter flies more often with me so we are used to this drill, I get on, get us seats and she finds me. This time I saved a row of three on SWA and then on they came. My daughter got in the row to take the window but my son said he was going on to the back of the plane, not sitting with us because, as he stated, he was going to fly independent.
again, wow, and a kind of punch. I will admit to my feelings being a bit hurt. My daughter just rolled her eyes at him and figured he was just being typical pain in the butt brother. But for me I knew. I knew it was that stretching that kids do as they transition to the next level. That level independence they seek, even on the same plane, just that little exercising of a sense of being capable of taking care of themselves in a setting.
I still get the hugs at night and the “I love yous” from both my children. I have been extremely clear that as THE MOM in this house, I have the prerogative to get hugs on demand and say and receive back I love you in the most public of places. I reserve the right to yell, “Make good choices!” “You can be the best!” in any school lot no matter who is around. And yell I love you in same setting. I get those and they get to get over it because I am the MOM.
I get that there will be more and more of these moments, big and small of asserting independence, individuality, testing the water, even it is just sitting at the back of the plane. But does it make it any easier? no, not easier but I recognize the moments for what they are, and I recognize that they are necessary and normal. And the reality is that I have been doing my job correctly as a parent, that my children develop and transition as they are supposed to do.
My son did want to sit toward the back again on the next leg but as I had to wait for him to get off on the first stop until the very end. I told him not this segment of the trip as we were going to get to our final destination and needed to get on to baggage etc. He sat with us and did just fine of course. And I know that we have ways to go before we reach the final destination on this transition path. But like all trips there will be adjustments, uncomfortable moments, hurt feelings and misunderstandings. As with all good trips though, it is all about the journey isn’t it? Not just the destination.
Going to keep my travel bag handy, prepared for the journey.