He’s only 4, yet I can already feel the pull away from me, outward toward the world. He sees life beyond our homes’ four walls and he knows it can be exciting and fun and full of adventure. He only briefly hesitates to let me leave him at preschool now and some days there is no hesitation at all. He looks forward to the time he’ll spend with his friends and without me. It feels strange and a bit scary not to be there with him all the time – to see the interactions he has with the other kids when I’m not around. It’s a leap of faith on both of our parts.
What happens when he gets his feelings hurt? I guess he’s learned to suck it up and move on. I still feel pretty confident that in these scary and unknown moments, he still thinks of me. I am moving out of the center of his universe. I can feel that he is beginning to get his own identity apart from me. At the same time that he is discovering his identity, I can feel a need to reinvent myself and find this new person that motherhood has changed. When you’re in the trenches of diaper changing and the constant demands of babies, it is all consuming. That phase has begun to dissipate and I’ve found that I am a new, changed person emerging on the other end. I feel like I have more confidence in myself. After all, I’ve birthed two beautiful human beings and I’ve brought them to the point where they are comfortable enough to explore the world for brief moments without me. This feels like a huge accomplishment! This journey of discovering who we are is one that we are taking together, yet separately. We are finding our wings in these new roles and encouraging each other along the way. I pick them up when they fall or have tears and they turn to me and say “I love you” or take the next step in their development and we both know we’ll be ok and this journey is an exciting one.