After five SOLID years of being all "Mama, I love you, Mama I NEED you" with me, in the past week Super Boy has suddenly (and very disconcertingly) decided that I am "EMBARRASSING him" and that my affection is just too much to take. This coming from the child who just TWO weeks ago fretted if he was separated from me for more than 30 seconds even though it was just because I was downstairs switching laundry and he was up in the kitchen. At the top of the basement stairs. Less than 20 feet away from me, in all actuality.
It all started when we were driving to school one morning last week and started talking about how he was having a Super Friend over for a play date after school that day. Being the good mom that I am, I asked if he was excited to have W. come over.
Super Boy replied: Yeah, Mom. But JUST ONE THING: You CAN'T give me kisses or hugs in front of W.
Me: Why not?
Super Boy: Because it's EMBARRASSING, Mom. NO kisses. Got it?
Me, slightly offended: Um, yeah, sure. Ok.
That was just the beginning, my friends.
That afternoon, after W. went home, Super Boy crawled up on my lap while I was checking email, and when I turned my head to give him a peck on the cheek, he had the audacity to WIPE IT OFF with his little starfish-like hand.
WHAT?!? I'm sorry, pal, but you DON'T wipe off Mama kisses. Under ANY circumstances. EVER.
I think I actually used those words. His response?
Mom, I already TOLD you - don't give me kisses in public, it's embarrassing.
I looked around OUR KITCHEN, trying to find The Public to which my little punk-a$$ son was referring.
Me: Yeah, I got that, but we're NOT in public, dude. We're home. So what's the deal?
Super Boy rolled his eyes and clambered back off my lap, then stood in front of me with his fists on his hips and his head cocked, a very exasperated and condescending look on his little angelic face.
Super Boy: Mom, here's the deal: No more kisses. I'm a big boy, and it's embarrassing. You can only give me kisses when I SAY you can give me kisses. Got it?
(Can you actually hear the sound of my heart breaking through the Internet? CAN YOU???)
While I fought back tears and swallowed my pride (and a few choice words for the new little Dictator of Affection), it hit me like a ton of bricks that, seemingly overnight, I had gone from the master of his little universe and the absolute love of his life, the woman to which all others would be compared for the rest of his life -- to chopped liver. BAM. Just like that.
Not wanting him to see how deeply his words had wounded me, I shrugged my shoulders, looked at him and glanced away and said, "Sure. Whatever."
I can count how many kisses he has ALLOWED me to give him since last week: Exactly five. Three on the forehead and two on the cheek.
I'm, like, going through withdrawals after five years of freely given and received smooches with my little man.
Yep. After five years of acutely feeling the invisible magic umbilical cord still firmly attached at both my end and his, I felt it give way. With a huge jerk and a snap. My little boy had cut me loose.
To borrow a line from E.T. (Super Boy's latest favorite movie): "OOOUUUUCH."