My Monkey turned 10 in May and with that came the realization that I’m not the mum of young kids anymore… and I love it. It’s a different stage in my life and my family’s life and I have to say that I am rocking it so far.
With Mini Me being 13, there is a whole different level of responsibility he has taken on. He’s off right now walking his brother to the local pool for swimming lessons where he will wait around for the half hour and then walk him back. I don’t have to go. I am, in fact, sitting in my PJs having a coffee and writing instead. What? It’s pure luxury.
Of course, I’m paying Mini Me to do it but it’s worth every penny. He wants his own computer. I want quiet mornings for the 9 days the class goes on. It’s a win win.
I think Muppet and I have come to the realization of this new stage in life slowly. Sure, Monkey has been walking himself home from for a while now and yes, Mini Me is in grade 7, but sometimes it’s difficult to see what’s right in front of you.
We started slowly with leaving them home while we went shopping. Nobody wanted to come with us, so we wandered off on our own. There was a stop at Starbucks and a leisurely stroll through Home Depot. Exciting, I know.
Then came a date night. Sure, we were home before bedtime but we went to a restaurant, had a nice meal, and then even snuck off for gelato afterwards. Monkey chastised us when we got home for being out so late (9:30pm) but it was totally worth it.
As we were strolling along between dinner and desert, we ran into 3 families who were out with their kids and they all joked about out child-free state but I could see that look of longing in their eyes. We just smiled and kept walking, hand in hand.
When I meet new people and they ask if I have kids, I no longer hear the “oh, they’re still little” or “you must have your hands full” refrains. Now I get the sympathetic head shake for parenting teens and tweens.
I know that I’m probably in a golden time before Mini Me actively starts pursuing girls and where Monkey is still a mixture of childish and surprisingly mature. Nobody is dating or yelling “I hate you” yet. They’re happy for us to go off on our own as long as we still have some family game or movie nights and dinner is still on the table. But, you know what, I’m loving every minute of it.