I was putting the kids to bed tonight and something was tugging at my heart again. You know, that feeling that your kids are getting older every second of the day and will eventually want you to stop snuggling, stop being affectionate, stop doting... I am plagued with this melancholy much of my day, especially when I look at them - even the joy of being with them is always laced with that tiny drop of dread - the knowledge that they will leave you someday, move into their own lives.
It's what we want for our kids, our ultimate goal, to see them happy and successful and independent - but it's so hard to think of that when they are so sweet and squishy and vulnerable - needing you for every little thing. So when they stop needing you for something, it's like a little victory and a little defeat all at the same time. Letting go of them, one little need at a time. To gain a freedom, you have to lose some of that need in return.
I read this the other day, a blog post aimed toward the moms with "only" one child and this passage struck me as particularly bittersweet: