Monday, December 5, 2011

Christmas carols and growing up

(image from here)

Last night we went to our local Carols by Candlelight.

It was a lovely community event that reminded me of the Christmas Street Carnivals that I went to as a child. A sausage sizzle and rides. Tea, coffee and homemade biscuits from the ladies at the local church. Friends and glow sticks and Santa. Christmas carols and fireworks.

But something happened at the end of the night that left me feeling a little strange.

Just for a moment.

My six year old, Spunky Monkey was happily running around with his friends. I had forgotten to tell him that there would be fireworks. When it was announced over the loud speaker, I watched him, (we were sitting about 10 meters away) he jumped excitedly into the air, screaming out with his friends.

I had expected him to come running. Running to me. To sit on my lap and watch the fireworks, with his hands over his ears. Just as he had done last year and the year before that. Just as Miss Moo Moo was doing.

But he didn't come. He and his friends just dropped down where they had been playing and joined in the countdown to the first firecracker BOOM. For the first five minutes, I watched him, not the sky. He watched the fireworks. His face smiling broadly, full of excitement.

I was totally unprepared for this independence.

I know that this is a good thing, but secretly (selfishly) I was devastated. He is ready, so I too, must be ready. I took a deep breath. He was fine, he was safe, he was happy. I snuggled into Miss Moo Moo and enjoyed our time watching the fireworks together, realising that this may the last time that I will watch the fireworks this way with her.

As most of you reading know, some days as a parent are hard: tired kids days, sick kids days, unreasonable kids days. But days like this, days when you must let go, even just a little bit; are the hardest.

Soulepapa wrote a beautiful post about this very thing recently. You can read it here.

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