Avery is 7. She'll be 8 in May and it's all moving too fast for me. She's becoming much more independent, and doesn't seem to need me as much as she used to. (sob!) Don't get me wrong. She still wants to snuggle and sleep in Mommy's bed, but only at night when all her friends have gone home and it's just us.
It seems that, every day, she's asking for more and more freedom. She wants to go to the park with her friends, without me. She wants to walk the neighbor's dog, without me. She wants to walk to school, without me. I try to let go, little bits at a time. We compromise. She can go to the park, but she has to take a walkie talkie so I can talk to her whenever I want to. She can walk the neighbor's dog, but only if the dog's owner's big brother goes with them. She can't walk to school alone yet, but she gets to walk by herself, after school, all the way to the crossing guard a block away and I pick her up there.
Yesterday, we walked her to school. She asked to ride her bike and I said yes. The neighbor boys (owners of previously mentioned dog) rode by on their bikes and she asked if she could go with them. I said yes, and that I would be coming behind them.
They rode off and were far enough ahead of us that I couldnt' see them anymore. I really was ok with it, but I had the backpack, so I had to go on up to school. Before we got to the street the school is on, I see Avery riding her bike toward me. I said "Honey, you didn't have to come back. I was bringing your backpack." She burst into tears. She said, through tears, "Momma, I couldn't even see you. We were too far ahead. I wanted to see you, so I came back. I'm not ready to ride my bike without you."
I almost burst into tears too, but instead just yelled inside my own head "Thankyou, God! She still needs me!"
All I said to her was "Honey, I'm always here," and then floated all the way to school on a cloud of mommy-bliss.