Another Step Towards Independence

Today marked another “mini-milestone” in my eldest son’s life. He is currently in Grade 1 and was invited to attend a friend’s birthday party (a Lego party which he was very excited about). Well, after a bit of discussion between my husband and me we decided it was time for our son to attend parties on his own. We would drop him off and pick him up. It was a two-hour party and just around the corner from our house. We have met the birthday boy’s parents, and the mom assured me parents of the invitees did not need to stay.

Over the past two days I must have asked my son about 6 times whether he was okay going on his own. Our conversations were much like this:

Me: Are you okay going on your own, Honey? Mum and dad won’t be there with you.

My son: Yes, mom. I’ll be fine.

Me: You’ll be okay getting your food and be careful with your drink?

My son: Yes, mom. I’ll be careful.

Me: What will you do if you need to use the bathroom?

My son: Ugh! I will ask them where the bathroom is and use it.

Me: [As I give him a big hug] Okay, then. We’re going to drop you off and then we’ll pick you up.

My son: Ok. [As he pulls away] Are we done now? Can I go play?

Me: Yes. [Looking longingly at my eldest son and wondering how he grew that big.]

I always thought that the first time my son went to party on his own, he might be frightened or unsure of himself. Instead, I found I was the one that was unsure and a little bewildered. When did my son get this big? When did he stop needing me to do the little things for him? Don’t get me wrong I know we still have a long way to go before he stops “needing” me (never I hope). But these are all the first steps towards independence. On the one hand I hate it. I just want him to be that little boy who held my hand so tight and needed mummy to hang on to him. On the other hand, I am so proud of my little man and all of the things he has accomplished.

So, now I sit here typing on my computer, while glancing at the clock every few minutes. I used to think 2 hours was such a short amount of time. Right now I feel like it’s an eternity…


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