Growing Pains

The morning rush to school!

Hubby dropped off E at kindergarten yesterday.  They were a tad bit late (yes, we are Chinese), so instead of the usual goodbye kiss, E ran off to sit with his classmates for group time.  As hubby was hanging up E’s backpack and jacket, he heard the teacher speak.  

“Good morning, E.”

“Good morning, Mrs. C!”  A low, loud voice called out quickly.

Hubby said he looked up right away and wondered, Who was that?!  He had never heard E speak like that before, in such an assertive and confident way.  It both shocked and pleased him to realize that was our son.  When he shared this story with me, I was blown away, too (picture me with my eyebrows raised high).  

It was then that hubby realized our sensitive, particular and dependent high need kid is growing up.  He is becoming his own person and feeling comfortable in his own skin at school.  This is such a stark contrast to how he was when he first started preschool.  Those morning drop offs consisted of a lot of crying and clinging; hubby still cringes when he talks about it.  And when I picked E up from preschool, he would be sitting all alone on a little rocker toy just waiting for me to arrive.  Those were definitely sad days for him and for us.

But amazingly, things have changed.  E is perfectly fine without us at school now.  He has friends and he enjoys learning.  Get this, he even talks (hubby can testify to that!).  It took him about two years in preschool before he even said a word; it was always a nod or shake of the head.  Now he even goes on field trips with his class – without us.  He actually doesn’t want us to go.  

We understand now that it’s a good sign that he doesn’t want us to go.  He’s establishing his own identity and becoming more independent.  He has his own thing going on at school and doesn’t need us there.

This is all a good thing, right?  Then why does it all seem so bittersweet?  I suppose it’s because I never thought this day would come.  And now that it has, it’s a reminder that our job as parents is to help our kids need us less and less.  That’s a hard fact to swallow. Because even in all my complaining about how needy E is, I have to admit there’s a part of me that is so used to it and might even like it (don’t tell him that though!).

Growing up is hard to do for both the kids and parents, wouldn’t you agree?

Here’s Taylor Swift’s song, “Never Grow Up” that speaks about these growing pains we face.

In what ways have you noticed your kid(s) growing up?