Sorry, Mom. I didn't listen.

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Keeping a close enough proximity

My son wakes up on a Saturday and walks into my office to give me a morning hug. He finds me reading on the couch and tells me not to move. He runs off, grabs a book, returns and settles on the other end of the couch, stealing most of my blanket. He tells me he loves it when we read together.

I love it, too.

I’ve reached a good point with my son where we are happy to do activities near each other, but they don’t have to involve each other. This is a big thing for a lot of parents, especially parents of single children. I want my son to see my husband and I doing our own activities, because I want him to have an idea that Mom and Dad are fully functioning people. We can’t model that behavior for him if we are so intensely involved in his life. So yes, we read near each other. Or my son works in the kitchen while I cook. Or, he works on a project at my desk while I clean out my office closet.

It’s proximity without crowding his space. I’m there to check in on him; he can ask questions if he needs me.

This goes for conversations, too. I ask questions, but try not to pry too much. The point is to let him know that I am interested in whatever he wants to share. And the payoff can be great: Days of not a lot to share, and then one day – BAM. A long (slightly convoluted) story that has been building up over several weeks comes out. And it is fantastic.

How could we have this moment together if I was constantly involved in his life?

Do you give your children enough room to live their own lives? Tell me in the comments.

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