I always kiss and hug the kids as they head off to school in the morning. They have always responded enthusiastically and in kind. Until....
A few weeks ago I noticed that PrincessE was half-heartedly giving me a hug, sort of a one shoulder sort of thing. Then her kisses became glancing and an attempt to get away from me as fast as possible. At first, I demanded a proper hug and kiss, but the more I did that, the more reticent she became. I asked her why it was happening and what was going on, but she wouldn't tell me anything. She was even loathe to admit that she didn't want the physical affection in public any more.
I told Dadam about it and admitted that I wasn't ready for this stage, though intellectually I knew it would come at some point. He suggested that I tell her I wasn't ready to not hug her, so could we do a hug and a kiss at the car, instead of on the school grounds. Brilliant! (This is why parenting is best done with two people!!)
I presented the idea to PrincessE and she liked that solution. Monday morning we hopped out of the car and she reminded me, "kiss and hug at the car, Mom."
I gave her a kiss and a hug and she was on her way. Then, today we got out of the car and I said, "Time for a kiss and a hug?" And she said, "You can just give me one up by my classroom."
I am still confused. Did I need to prove my ability to let go and adapt? Did she want to check and see if she was ready to get rid of those "childish" needs? Probably some of both and more I can't think of.
Quite frankly, I hope she never grows out of my hugs and kisses. And I'll keep trying to find ways to give them to her, even if she doesn't want them at school.