There is nothing to do to change the fact that our main job as parents is to teach our children to leave us. We are growing beings who will ultimately break our hearts to venture out on their own terms. (Though by 18, perhaps most parents are not so heart broken when the chicks leave the nest.)
I've been in denial about my littlest chick growing up. It takes me aback when I look at her sometimes, or when I hear the things she says. She sets me straight more often than I'd like to admit. She laughs at me, though good-naturedly, about the blinders I have when it comes to her growing up.
Her dad put training wheels back on one of the little bikes we had for M and K and sent D off to ride. She was fearless, riding up the (very low-traveled) street and careening back down the hill with reckless abandon. Predictably, she crashed on her first wild ride, but she was wearing her helmet and landed in the grass so after a quick brush-off she was back on the horse.
Craig thought to teach her how to use the brakes too, so that helped.
Miss M attended a preschool co-op planning meeting with me yesterday and came up with some good ideas for us. As if I needed more proof that she is growing into a young lady and no longer my little girl.
Thankfully, the little girl still comes out. She brought some of her collection of My Little Ponies to the meeting. Her love of creatures great and small continues to grow. It doesn't phase her to watch a sow birthing piglets, to watch a fish being fileted (which may seem counter-intuitive to being an animal lover to some, but makes sense to me), to pick up a toad and realize just how to hold it so it doesn't pee on her fingers...
Her big heart serves her well.
Then there is The Boy, the K-Man, Destructo-Boy. He received his long-pined-after big boy bike for his birthday this year. The funny thing is I bought the bike on clearance (something like $12!) about 5 years ago and it's been in a box in our basement all these years. The bike still seems too big for his smallish stature, but like his little sister nothing stops him.
(Incidentally, the Maple tree in the foreground of this photo is one Craig and I planted when we first started dating. It was a stick-ish trunk then. Now the tree is probably 25 feet tall or taller.)
I always think I love each age my kids are better than the age they were, which is a good thing, because I get to know who they are better as they grow. But then there is that catch-22 again. They keep growing away from me.