My eight year old son broke my heart today. He had worked out a plan in which we would bike together to Staples to get some supplies for school, and then bike to Booster Juice on the way back. As we were about to leave this morning, he said to me, "You know Mom, we hardly ever do anything just the two of us...it's too bad."
That was when my heart broke. He's the oldest of three and in school every day, so whenever he's home on the weekend he's always with his brother and sister. And often he goes fishing with his dad, or his dad takes him to hockey while I have the other two, so he's right. It's really never just the two of us. I mean, it was for the first whole three years of his life, but he doesn't remember that.
It made me realize that I need to carve out some 1:1 time for each child, which of course is easier said than done, but still that is my new goal. The one thing we do together is bike, although often I have my youngest in the bike seat and my other on another bike. I've been meaning for a long time to go rock-climbing with him too...so I've got to step up and just do it. (That should be a slogan of some kind.)
It means a lot to me that he still cares about things like this. He's the one who will no longer let me kiss him goodbye on the playground. Or even accompany him on the playground! But at night, after I tuck him in, he always likes to talk to me, just the two of us. And he asks me where I'll be in the house, just so he knows.
It's nice to know that although I may not be able to hold his hand in public anymore, there's still a great bond there. After he made that statement, I tried not to show how I felt, and I tried not to overreact. I just said, "Okay, then...so we'll do this again in one hour, and then again tomorrow, and the next day...does that work for you?"