My children are not babies anymore.  They are not toddlers.  They are not first graders.

Oh no, we are so past that.

To say that they are “growing” is such a cliche.  Yet, that is the only word that I can grasp right now to describe this incredible stage of development they are in.

Their needs are changing.  They don’t need me in that way anymore.

They don’t need me in the room to protect them from choking hazards. They don’t need me to pour them a drink or make them a snack. They can even get dressed by themselves and make their own beds. (That being said, brushing their teeth is still a stretch.  With males it is best to visually verify that this task has been accomplished or ewww… )

What they seem to need now is a little room and a little space to discover.  They need me to interact with them and appreciate them and help them to sort their emotions and reasoning out.  They need me to spend time talking and dreaming with them. They need me to admire their Lego model and investigate their hypothesis.  They need me to listen to them read their Goosebumps books and sing along to their favorite Big Time Rush and Selena Gomez songs.  They need me to corroborate that yes, in fact, Phineas and Ferb is one of the best shows ever made for television viewing.

In doing all of these things I am able to witness their evolution.

Like all stages in their lives so far, there are incredible moments that take my breath away.  More subtle than the “oh-my-gosh-did-you-see-him-walk!?” phase.  These moments are windows into their future selves.  The hint of sarcastic humor. The clear indication of a future passion. I am addicted to these moments.

Yes, it is true that my kids don’t need me in that way anymore.  Surprisingly, I don’t even care. Whatever way they need me is fine by me.

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