These are letters to Jack, my son, and my daughter, Audrey. You have given me the gift of motherhood. This is just a little gift back. I want to share my experiences with you of your childhood from my perspective of watching you grow - of being your Mom.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Where I find comfort


Yesterday when I left you at daycare, I said “goodbye” to you with kisses on the face and handed you to your teacher as I left. It’s the very first time that I have parted with you where you weren’t distracted and unaware of the fact that I was leaving until I was already long gone.

There must be something incredibly terrifying to you of seeing me leave you. I don’t know what it represents to you – if you think I’m leaving for good and never coming back. If you think that you are being left with someone who will turn into a Jack-eating monster the minute I disappear…. I don’t know. One thing I do know is I feel awful about it.

I can’t get over wondering if I have done you a disservice. Did I screw something up along the way that you have this worry that I won’t come back for you? I can’t pinpoint any habit that I’ve had that would give you this impression. It’s not like we have a game when you cry of me running away and you chasing after me for comfort.

If anything, I may be a little too up in your business. If you couldn’t tell that already from the vast overwhelming number of pictures. (I can’t help it. Anytime you do anything that strikes me as adorable, I want to preserve the moment and I grab for the camera like it’s a life preserver because THIS MOMENT WON’T LAST and GOD, PLEASE, let me move fast enough to capture it forever!!)

I am SO dreading tomorrow when I have to bring you back to daycare and repeat this heartbreaking scenario so I can play it over and over and over again in my head all day long hoping against hope that you had a good day. That I’ll get to daycare and learn that – you forgot about me two seconds after I walked out the door. Please, god, let that be the case. And no incident report, okay? Just those two things are what I want to hear.

On the exact opposite side of the spectrum, there are also many times lately in the evenings when you start to get tired and you have been with me for hours, when you start to get pissed off at a toy or something you can’t have or do – i.e. eat dog food or splash in the dog water, go outside in the pitch black 50 degree weather where it’s raining and run around in your footy pajamas getting drenched, or your connector train coming apart when you test it by pulling on it – only to you have you become unmeasurably angry at it for coming apart AGAIN!....

I have found in these moments that I am not able to resist trying to calm you down. And, it’s funny because comfort seems to be the last thing you want from me in these moments. You have a habit of going for the hairline at my scalp during these episodes. I will take your little fists and pry them open to rescue my hair, but I now have frazzled bangs up front - a tuft of frayed short hairs that frame my face and make me look like - no matter how much time I took to put myself together that morning - I didn't take enough time...

Still, I look at all our time together and know that there is no one you look for more when you DO want comfort and that alone lets me look past the new hairdo. I know one of these days I'll turn around and you won't need me anymore - wanting me not to hug you because one of your friends might see or not to say anything or to drop you off blocks away from your destination so no one knows we are connected!

That’s when I realize you are just pissed because you still need me even when you don't want to admit it. But - that's the bottom line for me. You need me!

God KNOWS how I need you, buddy!



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