Well, it has happened.  I have had that moment.  The moment that every mother knows is going to come.  It creeps up on us when we least expect it and hits us over the head or, over the heart really.  My six year old, sweet, empathetic little boy, my baby, my first, has moved on.  He has begun his own life.  Melodramatic?  Likely, but I think you will relate.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like he got a job and an apartment or anything but it feels just as big.  What has happened is that he now has a part of his life that is just his.  A part of his life that he doesn’t share with me, no matter how hard I try. 

There was a time, not too long ago, where I was his best friend.  I was the one he confided in, told secrets to, and cracked jokes with.  We still do all of these things but it’s different.  I am Mom.  Sometimes he shares his secrets, sometimes he doesn’t.  Most of the time his loyalty to his friends stops him from telling too much.  This I admire but it also makes me sad.  I guess in a way I took our relationship for granted.  This was just the way it was. 

I knew that it was starting when on the first day of grade one after spending the night before and that morning calming his nerves we arrived at school and, instead of my regular hug and kiss, I got a high-five.  Kissing your mom was embarrassing.

I’m sure it gets easier…right?  It is only because it is the beginning.  I suddenly realize that I can’t go back.  And soon it will change again.  Not only will I lose the public affection but our private cuddles will be limited too.  I will become embarrassing and annoying.  He will spend more time with his friends and I will be less and less a part of his life until, eventually, he is his own man.

This is what it is all about though so why am I upset?  Because no matter how well prepared you are or how committed you are to raising an independent and confident child, it is hard to let go.  I am so proud of my big boy and admire his new relationships and independence but, I will miss my baby.

Please share your comments below or send me an email with your ideas.


  • Mom at large!

    I am a sap in some ways and tough as nails in others. I am always so happy to see them be independant, always pretty ready for the next phase….the slow steady pace of letting go. As they get some of their life off and running I get a piece of my life back. Well, that what I tell myself anyway.
    I get paralized with fear sometimes when I think about the day they really don’t need me anymore. Will I be ready then? From the moment they are born, they are leaving you….step by first step!
    Do I take them for granted? Yes! Do they take me for granted? YES!
    So silly. But such is life…..
    Do I cherish them…………………yes, YES, YYEESS! I guess that is what counts.
    I am lucky because at 10 he still always hugs me hello and goodbye on the school grounds. He still holds my hand and he still tells me lots of lovely things. My daughter still holds my hand and hugs me and sits on my lap! I am so lucky….
    Reading all the comments reminds me that have to stop and savour it just a little bit more while in the midst of taking them for granted.
    Chins up Moms!

  • Susana

    Oh boy! This is what I have to look forward to (or not) this September 2006….and these are the very fears and feelings I’m already having! Motherhood can be so difficult (especially emotionally) but nothing else could also be so rewarding. It helps to hear others are in the same “place”

  • http://www.urbanmummy.com/journal Naomi

    I feel your emotion as I read your post! My son is not even 1 year old yet, so I guess this is what I have to look forward to. Already I feel for my son emotion I never thought possible!

  • Jen

    Wow. I sit here with tears rolling down my face imagining my little boy driving off in a car. For the first time the other day I looked at him and saw the man he was going to be. Why is this so hard? Isn’t this the point?! I guess it is impossible to be so invested and love someone so much and not have your heartbroken a few times along the way.
    Thinking of you, Anne!

  • Anne

    I’ve had several moments in the past when I knew my son was growing up and moving on, in different ways: when my son was finished potty training and could stand up like a big boy and pee in the toilet like a grown-up; when he went off to school and walked in the door and didn’t look back at me; when he went away to camp for a week and came home with all sorts of stories to tell that I was not a part of; and today– a really BIG one– he passed his G2 driver’s license yesterday and he just drove off in the car ALL BY HIMSELF to the store for some cheese for dinner (at his HIS suggestion). This event had me dripping a few tears as a stood on the driveway, pretending to rake leaves and watching him drive away. The umbilical cord was stretched all the way down the street to the corner and then finally broke! That’s it now. My sweet little baby is grown-up.

  • Jennifer J.

    Hi Jen,
    Oh, I sympathize with you. I remember the feeling when I sent my youngest off to Kindergarten…there was that feeling that he is growing up so fast. I was so sad to see him go and what made it even worse was the fact that he practically ran out of the vehicle and when his name was called he went to take off running as I was standing there calling his name so that I could get a hug and a kiss. 🙁
    He is now in grade 2 and I am fortunate to still get a kiss g-bye even if it is just a quick peck. But with your son Jen, I think you can take pride in knowing that you have done and are still doing a phenomenal job as a Mom. You are obviously raising a boy who is confident to be able to stand up for what he believes in. He understands the importance of friendships and loyalties. And you can bet that he would be as loyal to you as he is to his friends. I know how hard it is to watch our children grow and change, but at least you can take pride in knowing that you are raising a little boy full of self-confidence and morals. Good Job Jen!!!

  • Jen

    Before having children I could have never imagined something so filled with conflicting emotions! When this happened I was both proud and heartbroken. I was happy to see him become independent and confident but, for myself, I was sad to see my baby grow up.
    Thanks for your comments and emails. It is nice to know I am not alone!

  • http://profile.typekey.com/landrachuk/ leslie a

    Oh Jen, your post made me cry. My baby boy is only 16 months old, and I almost regret every moment as it passes, knowing it will never be again. I want to hold on tight to my baby, but know that my job is to “let” him fly, while giving him the roots he needs to be the best person he can be. Also, I understood only too well that from the moment of birth, the process of separation from my son is long, yet inexorable. The way I console myself is by reminding myself that if he wasn’t in my life, I would not have had the incredible, beautiful yet very challenging experience that I’m having, and which has made me a much better person, wife, sister, daughter and ultimately, mother.

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