I shush him when he whines. I tell him to eat on his own, ride the bike by himself, and to go sleep in his own room. “I want him to be independent,” I say to myself.
Every day, he grows more independent. The other day he took his shirt and pants off on his own, then went upstairs to look for his favorite shirt and shorts.
“I’ll do it myself,” my son told me as I instinctively took his shorts to put it on him. I smile proudly.
Soon, he’ll do almost everything without my help. Then as he gets older, he won’t let me into his room, and may not even want to be seen with me. Already, he doesn’t like talking about school, and sometimes refuses to kiss me when I leave in the morning, albeit playfully. My baby that adored cuddling doesn’t want to be held anymore and would rather push away. As he becomes more aware of his own abilities, he wants to test his limits and explore the world around him. I’m just an obstacle on his path to doing things himself.
Then he surprises me when I get home at night by rushing to meet me at the door, hugs me, and refuses to let go. Maybe when I’ve grown much older, and he’s grown up and has a house of his own, and has a son that’s learning to dress on his own, he’ll surprise me with a visit, some cookies he baked himself, and maybe, if I’m lucky, even a peck my cheek.
Maybe tonight I’ll let him sleep in my room, because I’m afraid that one of these days he won’t want to.