As Keaton has gotten older, transforming into the young adult she is today, the nature of our interaction has changed. Gone are the days of imaginative play. Our interactions are, on the average, shorter, less-frequent, and I’d guess less “required” from her point of view. While that may sound sad, it doesn’t really strike me that way… instead it just feels inevitable and part of life moving forward.
I do worry, however, that the maturing nature of Keaton’s needs may unfairly impact the way I interact with Cohen, who is five years her junior. See, Cohen is most definitely not at as mature as Keaton – and the style/type of interaction he needs from me hasn’t changed nearly as much as with Keaton. Given the difference in their needs, a “one size fits all” parent/child “interaction model” isn’t very functional or fair.
Specifically, I have to remind myself that Cohen does not want, or perhaps need, and is certainly not OK with, as much alone-time as is Keaton. He wants our presence, he wants to interact, for him imaginative play is still very much in-bounds. But I catch myself forgetting these things, letting the way I interact with Keaton influence my interactions with him.
I guess this is probably a normal “not the first kid” kind of thing that other parents have also dealt with? At least I hope it’s not just a unique personal failing of mine.