I sent my oldest child off to middle school the other week. It was a big step for him, and for me. As parents, we know that our purpose is to raise our children to become successful and independent, yet each stage they reach is difficult for parents.
My kids (except Arissa) are out of the snuggly stage. Tyler won't hold my hand in public any more. He says, "What if someone I know sees me holding your hand??" Yes, being a parent is difficult at times, seeing your child need you less and less, yet at the same time, it makes a parent proud to see what their child can accomplish.
Hunter was pretty scared about starting middle school. He was very scared of his locker, scared of the new people, nervous that he'd get lost, and VERY nervous about dressing out for P.E. Yet, 2 weeks later, he has his schedule down pat, can get his locker open, and, although he isn't crazy about it, dresses out in the boys locker room (which, by the way, he has informed me that the boy's locker room REEKS- and I have to wonder, coming from an 11 year old boy who we have to nag to take a shower and change his socks, if he thinks it smells that bad, it must be BAD). Middle school is teaching him to be responsible on his own.
Nobody said being a parent was easy.