Lately, I've been thinking about how independent E has gotten. She's needing us less, and wants to do things on her own more and more.
She'd rather walk than crawl. And walking outside instead of being in the stroller? Heaven, for this little one.
At the playground, she toddles around, choosing what toys she wants to play with. Mommy says let's go down the slide? No way, there are swings to be swung!
At home, E will play on her own with her drum set or flip through books for what feels like a long time before whining for me to play with her.
I suppose this has been happening for a while, but what really made me realize how independent she is getting has been weaning; E is now only nursing when she wakes up in the morning and before she goes to bed at night. And while it arguably might be both of our favorite times of the day, it's also made me realize--she doesn't need me like she used to, even just a few weeks ago. I'm glad for this new-found independence, for her new sense of self (because isn't that the point of growing up?), but it's sad at the same time. I didn't think I'd be dealing with my baby growing up and away from me yet--heck, she's only 1! I also know this just means she needs me in different ways, now. A year ago, she needed me to provide those basic human needs: food, shelter, comfort. Now, though, her needs are more complex. She needs a nurturing environment that allows her to feel safe and take risks, that challenges her and encourages her to learn, and that teaches her empathy and caring for others. Being a parent really forces you to lay it all out there, to think about what kind of person you are, and what kind of person you want to raise. Once again, it's one of those things you don't really understand until you have a kid of your own!