The Boss is Montessori educated. Every so often, bits of the methodology will come home either through the the weekly newsletter, the monthly magazine, or a parent education evening. Only what I deem directly relevant to me and my family, at that moment in time, sticks to my gray matter.
Here's relevant for you: Maria Montessori's careful study tells us that children begin to eschew parental attachment in favor of peer interaction at a certain age (around 6 or 7). What I’ve learned for myself is that the estrangement is not one-sided.
I’ve relied on my daughter’s dependency for the first six years of her life. She put me in context. I was The Boss's mother because that's what she needed me to be. Now that she is exhibiting the first signs of social self-sufficiency, I’ve taken it, on some level, as permission for a subtle shift in my own identity. I'm still heavy on the mom thing--and I always will be--but the psychic weight of the first few years of motherhood is lessening. There's more room for me.
It’s hard-won but it’s bittersweet. We are learning together what it means to exist on our own. The difficulty comes in reconciling our two distinct lives with the connection and understanding we both still need.
I know I won't be The Boss's favorite person in the world for much longer. Kids just don't develop that way. But I'm realizing something. Being the best was easy when I was the only one in the game. The Boss's world is expanding now, and soon it will be as big as the globe. I owe it to her find my own place and to do the hard work necessary to become the person she was biologically predisposed to believe I always was.