I volunteer in Sam's classroom or on the school playground whenever I possibly can. I love the bird's eye view of him in action.
Last year (when he was in K), I was in his classroom helping out for one hour every week. He absolutely LOVED my classroom days. In first grade parents aren't given the option to volunteer so frequently. I asked his teacher why and she told me that kids don't usually want their parents around as much. "Ha," I thought, smugly, "Sam and I have a very close relationship. He would love for me to be around."
I first noticed a slight shift at Sam's Halloween parade this year. I had to catch him as he was parading by to get a hello out him. No more of him peering through the crowds to find me. This little dance, of him pretending his doesn't see me or want me to come over to him has turned into a big laugh between us. So today as he was running laps during recess, I ran up to him and grabbed him in a big hug, while he wiggled away, laughing.
I picked him up from the bus stop as always this afternoon and made a joke about him trying to avoid me during recess. Usually we get a good laugh out of this together, our own little game.
But today, after he laughed, he said, "Mom?"
"Would it be okay if you don't kiss me anymore at school?"
"Sure, honey. That'd be okay." (Deep breaths.)
He grabbed my hand and we continued our walk home. "But can you please still lie down with me at bedtime until I fall asleep?"
Fly little birdy, fly.