Today was the first day in his school and nursery career that my oldest son refused to kiss me goodbye. He strolled into his classroom, trying to attract the attention of his disturbingly pretty teacher, without a backward glance. As I stood plaintively waving goodbye the kindly teachers assistant asked "Aren't you going to kiss mummy goodbye", to which he went puce and violently shook his head.
He is only six and already I am an embarrassment to him.
I knew it was coming, all mothers of older children have tales of the careless heartbreak inflicted by growing children as they morph from cuddly toddlers who can't get enough of you to sulky tweens who are far too hip for hugs, but I just didn't think it would arrive so soon.
I am crossing my fingers that at this young age that it's just a phase as he is still all to willing to sit on my knee and twine his arms around my neck in the privacy of the home, it's just public displays of affection that he has begun to scorn. But it has to be a sign of things to come and I don't like it one little bit.
Although I relish the growing independence of my big boy who can now dress, wash, read and help out all by himself, I can't help but miss that little boy whose face dissolved into tears at the prospect of two and half short hours away from me in nursery. At the time I was eager to unwrap his distraught body from around my legs and get on with the tasks of the day in that small window of freedom, but now it's on the wane I long for that unbridled devotion.
I love my boy and I know I will grow used to this new, more detached, incarnation, but today will always be a black day to me as today is the beginning of the end of my baby, as this big boy takes his place.
Still at least I have three more hot on his heels to make up for those missing cuddles, and as one is screaming in his cot right now, I'd best stop for now.