Last night the kids spent the first night ever away from me. Well excluding the 2 days E spent with Casey while I was at the hospital after having A. It was a weird experience, for me anyway. The kids did great, had fun, and E slept all night, something she hardly ever does. Then when we picked them up 1.5 hrs after they woke they didn’t break down. Both girls even managed going out for breakfast on a Sunday, where the wait was 50 minutes long. They did remarkably well.
For me, I still woke in the middle of the night when E generally shows up wanting to cuddle. And I still started the day at the same time I’m generally woken up at. Falling asleep was difficult. They spent the night with their close friends and adults we spend many hours with. I knew they were in good hands. Yet it was still hard. Spending the night away is another step towards independence. It’s a milestone in every kid’s life. But TV tells you they will be home crying by 2am. The girls weren’t.
It’s a freeing experience. The kids no longer need me every second of every day. It’s also a bit sad. They’re getting older. And for the first time ever, I can actually picture these early years ending. These wonderful and awful years that seem to drag by at a snail’s pace will eventually end. I can concretely imagine a future outside of 24/7 child care. I can make plans for all the things I want to do when they’re both old enough to not need a stay at home parent. The fact that they will grow up has never felt more real, nor closer. I’m excited for the future, yet simultaneously sad that the now is slowly passing.
I’ll just have to snuggle them a bit closer while I can.