I peek out the window each morning my daughter waits at her school bus stop. Our stop is blessedly close, and I find comfort watching her safely get on the bus.
This morning I watched her playing tag with her friends. She was It. She tried running after them, but they always had a lead of a few feet. She then tried trickery. She’d casually walk around the bus stop pavilion until she’d get close enough to have a chance.
She tagged a friend and darted away until the bus was spotted down the road. As she lined up, I noticed she didn’t have her backpack. I was scrambling to open the window and tell her “get your backpack!” Before I could open it, however, I heard her shout, “Oh wait…my backpack!” As I watched her retrieve her bag and board the bus I felt a tug of almost sadness.
I realized that she is very much her own little person. She’s not an extension of me. She has her own thoughts, personality, likes, talents and quirks, and someday she’ll start a life all her own.
My children are so much a part of me that thinking of them as separate from myself is jarring. But they are and that, of course, is how it should be.
Childhood is so short, but motherhood, once begun, never ends. I suppose I’ll be peeking out the window to make sure she's safe even when she’s 40.