Sometimes it suddenly strikes me how fast my children are growing. It can almost seem that one day they were entirely dependent babies and then in no time at all, they have become independent with a great many opinions, likes and dislikes, entirely their own. It’s fascinating to see the effects of nature and nurture moulding their young personalities, traits and habits. At times I think, ‘oh that’s so like his father’, other times, ‘I don’t know where she gets that from!’
Probably the landmark of starting school has the biggest impact in terms of realising that a child is growing up, since this is when we start to see how they interact with and react to, the wider community, new people and new experiences independent of parental presence. How many moms have anticipated their child’s first day at school with some anxiety? I know I have: will they like their teacher? Will the other kids play nicely with them? It takes very little time for them (and thankfully, for mom) to become completely comfortable with the school-going routine (and of course you wonder what you were ever worried about). It’s not long before they’re coming home and quoting far greater authorities than mom, like their class teacher, their best friend, or their best friend’s mom. In the case of the latter, this is often the first taste we have of being compared, sort of KPIs (key performance indicators) on the mom scale, such as, how our performance in lunch box preparation stacks up with other offerings on the market!
In other words, it’s not long before you realize that you are no longer solely central to your child’s reference points in life. And that time comes around far sooner than we ever think it will. So for me, this period of tiny babyhood with my new son, is all the more precious, when I think of how fleeting it will be.