I have had two occasions this week - one per kid - to both treat my children as the big kids they're becoming yet also relive my early mom days, and they were beautifully bittersweet times.
M stayed the night at a friend's house Saturday. Wait, let me rephrase: M stayed awake playing video games at a friend's house until 3 a.m. Sunday. I wasn't privy to the time of [not] going to bed until we were sharing lunch at Panera after church, when my boy was trying to talk me into "doing something fun" later that afternoon. I suggested instead that he have some quiet time when we got home, which he assumed was a silly mom-bluff until we arrived home and I actually escorted him to his room. So we ended up having a very cool pre-teen kid & mom candid talk (there was a brief conversation of how chicken eggs get fertilized) followed by an equally cool [to me] baby boy & mom cozy nap, complete with heavy covers and stuffed animals.
Then today, P handled herself like a mature young lady when I called to let her know I would be late getting home. And when working through her homework & eating dinner, it was as though I was engaging with her 19-year-old confident & capable self back from the future. But then later, she announced her 8-year-old excitement about the upcoming school movie night showing Kung Fu Panda, where everyone would wear pajamas and bring blankets - only to be reminded that she will be at her grandpa's this Friday night. My darling girl dissolved into heartbreaking tears; no whining or yelling or even protesting, really, just complete, draining sadness that she will miss this fun time with friends. I pulled her onto my lap and rocked her, smoothed her hair, said nothing but "I'm sorry." It didn't matter to her that Fountains of Wayne are only in town on Friday and her mother is a borderline groupie/stalker; it didn't matter that she's already seen Kung Fu Panda twice; it didn't matter that the cafeteria floor is hard, sticky, and uncomfortable even with pajamas and a blanket. All that mattered was her plans were dashed. But I like to think that holding her like my baby girl again made things a little better.