I am not sure when it happens; that moment of time when something is so common place it seems as if it will always be...until one day it ceases without warning. Why isn't there some sort of life alert that today is the last day your child will look at you like you hung the moon? Or that it's the last day your three-year-old will climb onto her Daddy's back pretending he is the beast from Maggie and The Ferocious Beast while your family room magically becomes the path to Nowhere Land? Why is it when you look back years later you can't for the life of you recall when she stopped watching Maggie and The Ferocious Beast? I'm thinking there needs to be an app for that!
Every stage of your child's life comes with its ups and downs. When you are in the trenches of tantrums, toilet training, and terrible twos (they lie...it's the threes) you wonder if you should buy stock in diapers because they are going to be in them forever. The separation anxiety that plagues your little one will produce images of a ninety-pound growth shackled around your neck because it seems they will never get past the physical need to have less than two inches of space between you and them at all times. One night you will read them Runaway Bunny or Good Night Moon for the last time and have no warning that it is the last time.
There is nothing that prepares you for the day that clingy toddler becomes the teenager who would prefer to be in their room than in your presence. You go from reading bedtime stories to reading their text messages to their friends (at least I hope you read them). How did that little person who was the center of your universe become someone who looks at you like they don't even want to share the same space? Some of you are probably thinking "Oh no! My child will never look at me like that" or "My child will always love me. They will never..." It will happen at some point because it's all part of growing up. They will make you incredibly proud, but at some point, in some way they will do something that will break your heart. It might not be anything huge or life altering but at some point it's bound to happen. Parenthood is a wild ride and there is nothing that you can do but secure your lap bar, hold on tight and try not to jump the tracks or let anyone fall out of the moving cart. Being a parent is a wonderful blessing but it's not for the faint of heart.