A short while ago, I wrote about my lovely boy growing up too fast. And now he's busy doing it again, and I'm not ready for this.
On Friday night, we had friend Piglet's little boy, who is 7, to stay for the night. He and LittleBear have known each other since before they knew what being friends was, and after the initial insane giddiness of having BoyPiglet staying, they had a lovely time, and both went calmly and happily to bed. Which was something of a surprise, if I'm honest. I was expecting mayhem.
However, BoyPiglet, being an older boy, and being quite capable of reading his own stories at bedtime, has a slightly different bedtime routine to LittleBear. BoyPiglet might have a parent read books to him at bedtime, but he also gets to read his own books until a parent comes back for Lights Out time. LittleBear thought this was a wonderful innovation. So wonderful that he wants to do the same thing.
So, last night BigBear read a story to LittleBear, snuggled up in bed together, and then... left him with his light on and a book to read... Ten minutes later I went up to turn the light off and kiss him goodnight. And I found that my beautiful boy had read two and half chapters of his book, on his own. And he declared, "this was the best bit of bedtime ever". And my heart broke a little bit.
I am so happy that he loves reading. I'm so happy that he wants to read. I'm so happy that he's discovering the joy of reading in bed before going to sleep. But I want to read to him. I want to have the warm, snuggly cuddles. I want to share his joy, and giggles and excitement as he explores new stories. And I know we'll carry on having bedtime stories, and we'll carry on having cuddles, and we'll carry on snuggling at bedtime. But this felt like a big and sudden step away from me. A step into indepence. A step into having his own world that I'm not a part of. A step that he's ready for. A step that he's delighted about, and that I cannot and should not spoil for him. But it's not a step I was quite ready for yet.
Don't go too far my baby. Don't go too fast.