I’ve been busy with my new job, and haven’t had much time to write here lately. And in the meantime, my little guy has been up to so much. Over the past several weeks, he has continually amazed me with the way in which he learns things, and how quickly he picks up little tricks. He speaks in sentences and phrases now, repeats back what we’ve told him, sings Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and counts past twenty with a look-what-I-can-do lilt in his voice.
He’s growing up so fast, and last weekend really brought it home. My husband and I were involved with an all-day puzzle event that we needed to be able to focus on, so we had to find an alternate plan for Kiddo. Our sitter that day was the son of a couple friends of ours; he’s taken care of Kiddo before at their house, with occasional oversight from his mom, and Kiddo has usually enjoyed his time there, once he gets past being upset with us for leaving him behind.
I was expecting the usual tears and clinging when I dropped him off, but this time was different. As I stood in the driveway chatting with my friend, her daughter came outside to talk to Kiddo, and then led him inside by the hand to find a toy. He didn’t even look back.
I was a little taken aback. When I realized what had just happened, and Kiddo didn’t immediately come running back out. I turned to my friend. “I feel bad about leaving without saying goodbye, but it might be easier on him if I just go,” I said uncertainly. She agreed, and I hopped back in my car.
Usually as I drive away from a drop-off, I feel a tiny bit of regret. How could I knowingly upset him, even knowing that he’d be fine again as soon as I was out of sight? Last weekend I felt a different kind of regret. As much as I’d looked forward to the day when I could walk away without the tears and drama, I suddenly missed it a little bit. It was no longer a big deal that Mom was leaving him behind, and my ego wasn’t sure how to handle that.
Objectively I know that this means we’ve done something right. We’ve helped him build his independence and confidence that it’s OK for Mom and Dad to leave him with someone else for a while. He knows we’ll come back and we still love him. Emotionally, though, it was a little bit of a hit to see him casually go off with someone else, as though he was saying “Oh, you’re leaving? Whatever, see you later.”
I’m proud of the big boy he’s becoming. Outwardly I’ll give him all the support he needs to grow into a confident, independent adult. And if I get a lump in my throat now and again missing the little baby whose universe revolved around me, well, I guess that’s just part of growing as a parent.