They could have and have already begun to hide between the covers of a book or get sucked into an extracurricular activity that doesn't include me or get surrounded by a web of friends.
If I weren't so tired, worn out from my labours of the first few stages, I might not notice. Nodding off on the couch, bingeing on another world created for me might keep me comforted just enough.
So, I deciding to slip into a lower gear. Clear more space on the calendar, empty the toy box and replace the toys with empty space and spare parts that might just tug them back for a while longer.
Lower gear is not as tiring. I still feel like they are picking up speed in another direction and don't want me to follow, but there are just enough times still when I can still walk along side them, and watch the car slide off the track, over and over.