You’ll notice that when you have a child, other parent’s with older children will tell you how fast time flies once they are born. Now that M has been in our lives several years I too have become one of those parents, making sure new parents take the time to take in every moment as it goes too fast. Each stage has been my favourite, new skills learned, new challenges faced and new conversations. But what I didn’t expect was the moment he would tell me “I don’t need a grown up”.
Three years old, that moment happened almost days after our little man turned three. He’s always been an independent child, approaching challenges head on with an analytic mind. But we’ve always been just there within arms reach, because let’s face it he’s only been on Earth 3 years and I’ve 33 under my belt, so surely he needs me still…. right? Well wrong, according to him. He doesn’t always need me now. I almost believe some kind of growth switch was triggered in his mind the moment he turned three. Things he struggled with in the last few days of being 2, have been mastered and can in fact be done with such ease it’s like he’s been doing them for years.
On a recent trip to Moors Valley Park, M requested to play in the older kids play area. Last time we visited he caused a bit of chaos at the top of the rather large slide as he refused to slide down it on his own. So we were a bit concerned we’d be climbing up again to help him down. But he turned to us and said “Don’t worry, I don’t need a grown up…. I promise”. Firstly I was a little bit impressed by his sentence and then I was hit by the emotion behind it. He just said he didn’t need us as he ran to start his climb. Now a part of me secretly wanted him to still need us, to help lift him up that last ladder and scoop him into my lap to slide down. But the other half was so proud, proud of the boy he is becoming, confident in his abilities and prepared to overcome previous fears.
Plus, he was right, he didn’t need us. He raced round the play area, climbing ladders four times his height, sliding down slides as high as a house and holding his own against children much bigger and older than him. We found it hard to stand back and watch. He loves it when we join in and play, but this time he wanted to do it all on his own, he didn’t want his mums cramping his style.
I love this age, I really do. It’s amazing and a learning curve for us all. But I also love those moments where he needs me and I’m glad there are still quite a few of those moments.