Since Emily started kindergarten, we had a morning routine that consisted of me taking her to school and waiting with her outside in her line until the bell rang. She insisted that I gave her a kiss on her forehead (twice) and stand outside until her class walked into the building.
She always looked over her shoulder a dozen of times to make sure I was still there. If I even moved towards the sidewalk at all, she would give me the I-will-instantly-explode-if -you-take-another-step look of terror. So, I learned to stand frozen until the coast was clear.
She’s now in second grade and up until a couple of weeks ago, we still had the same routine. Unfortunately, my schedule changed and I had to rely on a classmate’s mom to walk her up for me because I couldn’t stay.
I feared the worse, that she would cling to my leg and not take another step unless I was with her. To my surprise, she’s gone merrily up the sidewalk from day one. Barely saying “bye” as she ran up to her friends. In fact, today I had to grab her hand before she ran off to get a chance to kiss her good-bye.
As I walked back up to my car, I felt my heart break.
My baby was no longer my baby.
I wondered if it was really me encouraging her to be clingy and dependent on me. Was I the one who was afraid of her growing up?
I’m sure I did the same thing with my two older children and this will pass. Of course, I still have to call my oldest every day or I go crazy and she’s been living on her own for five years now.
So, maybe not!