Friday, August 19, 2011

a shift

I think the bitter-sweetness of motherhood is watching your baby learn to gain independence. I realize this is a natural part of life, but its also taking its toll on this Mommy. While my sentimental side wants to hold tightly to him and never let him grow up, the practical side loves to see him thrive in his autonomy. This great paradox is that my job is to teach him to take small steps out from under my protective sphere into his own, yet my nature is to restrain and shelter him forever.

Still, he needs me... no one else can comfort him quite the same way when he's hurt, or scared, or sick. No one can answer the big questions of life for him, like "Is it called Friday because you're supposed to eat french fries?".

In the afternoons, as I watch him play and hear his constant chatter, I inwardly beam at the wonderful "big kid" he's becoming. While at night, after he's tucked under his soft blankie, I'll sneak into his room and snuggle up next to him, grasping at the tiny remnants of toddlerhood that are now barely recognizable.

On Monday as he walks through the door of his new classroom, meets his new teacher, and sits down at the table with his new friends, I know he won't sense the shift that happens. But I will. I'll hope that he's just a little bit sad to be there on his own without me. But I'll also be rooting for him to shine in his new environment. He's going to excel in school, I just know it. He's so bright and witty [I'd like to think he gets that from his Mommy]. I think he'll adjust wonderfully. I can't wait to see how he grows and learns this year. I just hope he doesn't get too big to need to sit on his Mommy's lap from time to time.

p.s. Yesterday he learned to climb a tree all by himself.

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