My daughter and I have always had this special bedtime routine. It’s a simple moment at the end of the hectic days to unwind and bond. There are no distractions – no TV, no toys, no iPhone. We snuggle up, giggle over some silliness, sing the bedtime song I made up for her and then she goes to sleep. It’s one of my favorite parts of the day.
I knew a day would come when she would no longer need or even want snuggles and silly songs. I didn’t know it would be this soon.
Our pared-down conversation from last night…
The Diva: Night mommy.
Me: Don’t you want to snuggle?
The Diva: No.
Me: Don’t you want me to sing your song to you?
The Diva: No, you can go downstairs.
Be brave. Be brave. Don’t cry. She’s growing up. This is what kids do.
I walked downstairs and lost it.
I know she still needs me. Loves me. There will be nights when she wants to snuggle and sing. There are beautiful times ahead. But it’s hard. She is my first (most likely my last) child and it’s just. so. hard. She’s growing up. One day soon, I’ll blink and she’ll be heading off to college, getting married, creating a family of her own. But that’s a decade and a half away. Right now, in this moment, I look at this 2 1/2 year old little girl who is starting to seek independence already. Already. Already?!
I’m not ready.
It’s a painful precursor to the times ahead. When she’s in elementary school and would rather have a sleepover than snuggle with mommy. When she’s a tween and thinks I’m the uncoolest person on the planet. When she’s a teenager and thinks I “just don’t get it.”
I get it. I really do.
If there’s a silver lining, it’s that I don’t have to rip the band-aid off. She’s slowly peeling away – one bittersweet, painful, wonderful, heartbreaking moment at a time.