Separation Anxiety. (Mine…)

BIG NEWS!  I found All DRESSED CHIPS at Kroger Wednesday.  It even has a big blurb on the front about how it’s Canada’s leading chip flavor and what ‘All Dressed’ means for the Americans.  What a hoot!  A HOOT I say.

Ellie’s new car seat came from Amazon yesterday.  My baby is graduating to the last car seat she will have – good until she moves to a backless booster seat (which this car seat turns into).  

She’s sleeping in a big girl bed and this week I left her at day care AND WENT FOR A WALK.  By myself.  To Kroger to get groceries but still…it was odd.  It was odd to be doing anything by myself, her presence has become a part of me as constant as my own thoughts.  

I literally felt like I was missing a part of myself.  Is this what it’s going to feel like forever?  As she gets older and more independent there will always be this space beside me, inside me where she belongs?  

Her curious eyes and bright chatter and spontaneous hugs.  Her mercurial moods and the way she looks at me when she’s a little nervous that makes me want to scoop her up from anything scary and hold her tight forever and ever in a way that’s totally not healthy for her own development?  Or mine.

I helped raise two kids for seven years before I met Bill, and I think of them every day.  I loved them like they were my own but..they weren’t.  They aren’t.  That was made repeatedly and brutally clear to me in a way that broke my heart many, many times over those seven years.  And although eventually they lived with us they always went to school and I always went to work.  Our relationship was set out from the beginning with me coming in after work, and every other weekend.  Separation was built into our interactions.

I may have helped house them, clothe them, feed them, worry about them, tuck them in at night, and take them to the doctor when they were sick but I wasn’t mom.  I wasn’t dad.  It was both painful and beautiful to be in their lives and it’s still both, even though that little girl is 19 years old and the baby boy is going to high school.

I missed them when I was at work and they were at school but because this was how I met them and grew to love them, it was a normal part of life and nothing I needed to adjust to.  

Not like with Ellie, where I am the primary care giver pretty much 24/7 with Bill playing with her after work for an hour or so before bed and on the weekends when he’s not working outside or on pet projects.  Hmmm, I think I might sound a little bitter here…something to think about…in any case, it is totally different with my ‘own’ child.  

Separation from her is…not built into the relationship but it will be.  It has to be.  For both of us.

Anyway, those two beautiful kids (and their parents) have taught me how to be a better mom and a better person.  

There are a million ways to be a ‘good’ parent and really only one way to be a bad parent – and that’s if you don’t love them.  Even the worst parent out there would tell you they love their children, they just don’t know how to get it out of their own hurt hearts and into theirs.

I’m grateful my love can flow freely for all my kids.  That a little sacrifice comes easily to me.  I’m grateful for the patience I’ve learned and for all of the awful people in my life who have taught me how NOT to be.

And I will list all those awful people here, so I can thank them properly.

Ha ha.  

So, cheers to building a little independence into this mommie-baby relationship and to terrible people who have taught you how you don’t want to live.

“I have learned silence from the talkative, tolerance from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind.  I should not be ungrateful to those teachers.”  Kahlil Gibran
Ah, side note – I think anyone who knows me knows I have not, indeed learned silence from the talkative.  Eh, who wants to be perfect anyway!?

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