As my daughter preps to wrap up both her senior year in high school and her childhood, I find myself at various times sitting in moments of reflection. Slides of memory film click through my mind of things we did together, teaching her things like riding a bike and cooking, and doing the best we could to secure her independence of functioning as a solo human once she leaves our nest.
When they’re little, and you’re in the moment of receiving the hugs, pick up requests, and hand holding, you fail to register that one day it may no longer be available. Your hand gets replaced by someone else’s, and the hugs aren’t needed as much as they get older (or so they think).
Then one day, you’re sitting at your desk/couch/porch and it hits you…”she/he doesn’t like (affectionate activity) anymore.” And it makes you a little sad. You’ll drive yourself nuts for a hot second as you CSI when and why it all stopped, and you’ll never really settle on a good reason except one…they’ve just grown up.
You think they’ve gone away, but they haven’t. They’re still there. And one day they will enjoy it again, but more on a gratitude level. You’ll be older, and the hugs and handholding will be a “thank you” on an adult level instead of a “take care of me” on a child level. The gestures never really leave. They just hibernate until it’s ready to come out again.
So hang in there.