I recently read an article about how moms end up knowing their kids less and less and how their kids need them less and less as they grow older. Yes, that is true but I also think kids need their moms (and dads) in a different way as they grow older. I've been thinking a lot about this today because today was my 3 year old's last day of preschool (his first year anyway). While he is still 2 years away from kindergarten, he is already acting like a kindergartener. He's beginning to be more independent and needing less of my help with things I've helped him with since birth. I am sad that he is growing so fast. In my sadness, I find joy in that he's growing up and becoming an individual (too quickly of course). I'm excited for the next phase of his life. I'm excited as he continues to learn new things. I know he will still need me but in a different way than he has needed me. Obviously there are things a 3 year old still cannot do yet that I still have to do for him. When it comes to feeding him, clothing him, and other simple tasks, he can do them all on his own. Seeing him succeed means I've taught him well and have prepared him to continue on.
I know parents who are about to have an empty nest or who are even in my boat with small kids moving on to the next phase of their life. I just want to tell you all, that while it may seem you are going to know your kids less and that they will need you less, I think they will need you in whatever phase of life they are in (middle school, high school, college, married life). I know my husband still needs his parents. May not be the same as when he was 5, but he still needs them in his life none the less. He goes to them for suggestions and advice whether it is about marriage, about kids, or life in general. I think parents will still know their children but they will know them in the phase of life they are in. Parents will always be older than their children and will always have knowledge and experience and kids know that. Even young kids know that (my 3 year old asks why a lot).
While it may seem that kids will need you less than the previous stage, take heart and find joy instead of sadness because they will continue to need you. A child's need for their parents will never go away, no matter how old they are. I find rest and joy in that especially as Logan turns 4 in a few months and starts his second year of preschool.