My son and I were on a walk today when we came across a branch with an old nest that fell on the side of the path in the woods. Kellan is way into nests these days. He likes to build them - very much like real birds do it - with "found" objects around the house like clean laundry, stuffed animals, and bath mats. So when we were checking out the nest in the woods, he wanted to see the baby birds. I told him they grew up and built their own nests. He wanted to know why they grew up already. "Well, baby birds grow up really, really fast," I replied.
Well, baby humans grow up quickly too! I can't believe the baby I'd tuck into a carrier so I could vacuum the house (and lull him to sleep) is now starting his first full year of preschool. Last week, I went next door to pick up Kellan, where he was playing with a friend. I thought he'd be happy to see me, but when the door opened he shouted, "I'm eating something!" and then he ran away from me with a plastic donut in his hand. Apparently I was interrupting their picnic. I admit, it made me a teeny, tiny bit sad.
Of course, this doesn't mean he doesn't need me or isn't happy to see me. He's just a little less attached, and isn't that what parents want as their kids grow older? I want him to gain confidence when I'm not around, even if the mom in me sometimes feels a bit ambivalent about letting go. My baby bird is growing up, but thankfully, he won't be leaving the nest any time soon.