A glimpse of what is to come

Recently, I saw a glimpse of what is to come in my life as a mother.  I also realized the selfish and selfless nature of motherhood through new eyes.  King diaper is an only.  Until now, he hasn't really shown a need or desire for other children and playmates.

Sure.  We sent him to parents morning out to socialize and be around other children.  But at that point, it was parallel play.  And his noticing other children was somewhat limited.  Until this week.

A college roommate came to visit with her children.  King Diaper couldn't get enough of her little girl.  He dragged that child all over the house.  And when it was time for her to leave, he said, "I go with you."

Until that moment, I never really saw him needing or wanting anyone else.  His family was enough.  And that was enough for me.

This week at the beach, he ingratiated himself on other children that were near by.  One evening, he wanted to play with some other boys in the sand.  As he vied for their attention.   He circled and screamed - putting his hands on their backs to signal them.  Each boy remained silent, ignoring his ploys.  I said to him, "stop screaming and say hello to them if you want to play."  He did.  "Hel-wo" he said only to be ignored.  He just kept circling the wagons determined to join their sand castle construction.

I watched with my teacher like observation to see what would happen next and thought of what to say.  But stood there silent and sad - both for he and I.  Watching, I saw my baby growing into a little boy that needed and wanted his momma less.  And, I watched as he experienced, unknowingly, the first of many moments of disappointment.

Becoming a new mother, one wants a child or a baby really to love and nurture.  And that vision for me didn't include anything beyond that.  Sure.  I always knew there would be play dates, sleep overs, and then dates and college.  But that is a long way off.  Or is it?

For the first time, I wanted to help him make friends and play with other children.  I also want to let him make his own way.  But, I don't want to let go of that tiny hand that has been holding mine for so long.  And I caught a glimpse of that little boy walking out the door - going to school, to spend time with friends, and holding the hand of a girl he loves.  Because one day, he would be grown up and no longer holding my hand and needing me as much.  

He needs me now, and I'm trying to hold on to that while relinquishing some of my selfishness as a mother.  He needs to play with other children and he wants to be more independent.  Increasingly he is less dependent.  I can't and won't stop those things.  I don't want to, but I want it to slow down.  Even if I could slow down time into a crawl, I would never be ready. 

I see my grandmother letting go seven times to her boys and how that must have felt each time.  And I don't think that lessened with the number of times that she did it.

As I write this, King Diaper is sleeping upstairs.  I'm at the beach while his dad is on duty.  I'm enjoying a little precious time that was once mostly never interrupted pre baby days.  And I realize with that King Diaper achieving independence, some of my own independence will be regained.  

I'll relinquish some of what I wanted when I became a mother and not hold on so tight.  I'm going to help him find his way and nurture him as he does. I know it's my job and how things are supposed to be. 

I only hope he never forgets how to hold his mamas hand because he will always have her heart.  And each time he lets go of my hand, it tugs a little harder at my heart strings.   And as I let go a little more, he will always be my little boy that I hope will always need his mamma.

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