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I barely recognize you …

To all the parents out there, have you ever had a moment when you thought to yourself how grown up your children are? So grown up that you almost don’t recognize them? Well, I had one of those moments today, for the very first time as a parent … and I felt a bit sad about it.

We all know that as our children grow up, they will be less dependent on us. Once they begin doing more things independently, parents end up offering more mental support than physical support. As teenagers, your children begin going out more with their friends and there’ll come a time when they really don’t tell you everything anymore (no matter how great your relationship is with them). I know, as parents, we want to see our children grow up and accomplish great things. But, there’s a part of me that is torn about this life stage because I miss the way things used to be. 

My son is now making philosophical references, speaking about scientific theories that he watched on YouTube, and telling me “don’t worry, I got this,” every time I ask if he needs my help with something. I’m proud that he has become independent (and probably more brilliant than me), but it pains me to admit that it hurts a bit to not be “needed” anymore. 

This summer break, I’ve come to realize that my son is all grown up. Yes, he’ll still come to me when he’s hungry since all he can make is a peanut butter sandwich, but the need for me to “mother” him has changed significantly. 

I’ve been slowly accepting the fact that I just have to ‘let go’ – and it’s not easy to say the least. With only one child, my son will always be my ‘baby’ (though, I’ll get the evil glare if I ever said that publicly in front of his friends, of course). This is exactly how parenting can become an emotional struggle.

All tears aside, I acknowledge that this is an inevitable part in growth of the relationship between parent and child. Though, if you don’t mind, please give me a bit more time to enjoy the hugs while they still last. (I’m still thankful that he’s not embarrassed to introduce me as his mother to his friends.)

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