I can remember, not too long ago, when my boys were mama-focused. They wanted me and only me. It felt good to be needed. It felt good to be their number one. I knew it wouldn't last for long, and so on the days that I could not leave the room without hearing them cry for me, I had to remind myself of that. My showers would top out at 2 minutes due to little boys pounding on the door shrieking for mama. Using the bathroom alone? Forget about it.
For the last few months my baby boys have been trying to use their wings to fly.
That actually sounds too poetic for whats been happening. In actuality they have been trying to get their mother to leave the nest, or yelling at me to leave the house again as soon as I return home from anywhere. We were heading to the grocery store this weekend when Gabe bluntly requested "Mama stay home, Nana come to the store." I have had "Mama go bye bye!" demanded of me too many times to count.
That makes a person feel loved.
I'm not the "Big Thing" that I used to be.
I used to be one of their only food sources. I knew just how they needed to be swaddled and cuddled. There was a magic song I could sing that would almost always lull them to sleep when they couldn't calm themselves. In their little world, I was IT.
In the words of Bob Dylan, "The Times They Are A Changin."
Daddy can read nighttime stories just as good, if not better than me. Nana is much more entertaining when playing cars, and Grandpa is the best cuddle partner for watching cartoons.
The biggest evidence of their growing up came last week at ECFE. It was our first class back since last Spring. This class is new to them; new teachers, a different room, and biggest of all, it has a parent/child separation portion for 1/2 the time.
I was nervous. I'm used to always being close. I rarely leave them, let alone with new people in a new environment.
I wasn't nervous about how they would feel without me, afterall they have one another. I was more worried about how their behavior would be. Would they be out of control the second I left the room? Would they be the kids standing in a corner refusing to participate? Worst yet, would they be mean to other kids, not share appropriately and hit? None of these are normal behaviors for them, but I only know how they are around me. I'm not sure what happens when I am gone.
I prepped them in advance. Told them that mama would be next door and showed them the special window they could look through if they needed to see me.
We had our circle time with the class, sang our Hug song and kissed goodbye. I got up and cautiously left the room, keeping an eye on them as I walked away. Not a peep out of them. No longing glance at me, no fight put up about having me leave. In fact, they instantly got in line to wash up for snack and never looked back. I kept checking the window in the parent room. I was thinking that I would look up at some point and find two teary eyed boys with their faces pressed against the window, searching for their mother.
It never happened.
I guess that's what any parent should want. Confident children, certain of themselves, and certain that when mama says she'll be close and will soon return- that she will.
Class today went off without a hitch. When I told the boys that it was a school day Gabe responded with "Mama goes in the other room at school." No concern in his voice, just proudly stating a fact.
Yes, you are right, sweet boy.
Close by, and there when you need me.
For now, I'll hold you close when you let me, and I'll cherish the little moments of you both still needing me.
These times are bittersweet.
They are just little snapshots of what is to come.
I know that in a way you will always need me. Everyone needs their mama no matter how old they are.
For right now though, I'll just watch you take these small steps and wonder in amazement at how far you have come and dream about how far you will go.