My mommy heart was broken yesterday. My son didn't want mie anymore. *sniff, sniff*
He's now in kindergarten and entering the world of field trips. We saw one coming up on the calendar and both my husband and I mentally planned to attend. We realize that as working parents we're not going to be able to make all of them, so it's our commitment to do as much as we can when we can.
Finally the details of the trip came home in the folder yesterday. We had to give our permission, pay the nominal fee, and say whether or not we were coming. As soon as I brought up the field trip he immediately began the unintentional heart-crushing.
To be fair, it was clear that he knew it was going to hurt my feelings so he tried his hardest to break it to mie gently. So think about it in the most sweet-but-firm little boy voice you can imagine:
"Mommy - I want to go by myself to this one. I really want to be a big boy. But you can come next time if you want".
I pestered him about it a bit, trying to figure out why exactly he didn't want his mommy to come. I offered for him to ride the "school bus" with his friends and I'd drive seperate. I offered to meet him there (which is the same as the last...I was desperate). I pointed out that other mommies and daddies might be coming and he might be the only one without a mommy or a daddy. None of this helped.
He wants to be a big boy. He wants to go alone. He doesn't want mie there.
Though my heart was sad, I was also really concerned that he would indeed end up the only one without a mommy there and as a working mom that's something I'm really sensitive to and something he's not quite able to foresee. So, I told him I'll be ok if he doesn't want me to go but we needed to talk to his teacher.
A few minutes later, he changed his mind. He reluctantly said that I could go since I really wanted to. I told him that I really wanted to, but if he didn't want me to I'd be ok with that, after we talked to his teacher. Then he talked himself into needing me there because what if there were strangers and he got nervous - sometimes he gets shy or embarrased - I told him he'd be fine without me there but I wanted to go enjoy it with him.
As of this morning, after talking to his teacher, I plan to be going with him, but I do so knowing things are different now. Yes, he'll love for me to go and he'll have fun, but he's now at the age (at least for yesterday) where he's going to start pulling away a little bit to learn how to be a little boy and eventually a young man.
This is such a hard thing for a parent, especially for the mommy in mie. Oh how I wish he could stay a little guy forever. Though the work is hard with a little one (sleepless nights, etc.), I love having my son who enjoys spending time with me. I've loved watching him discover the world and being one of the key sources he looks to for understanding and to help show him the way. As he gets older, that will be less and less my role. Yes, I'll still play that role and I'm aware that I'll have other roles to play that will be important to him as he turns into a man, but I already miss the days gone by.
Such a balance needed. The reality is, though I wish for him to stay young forever, that option really isn't the best for him (obviously). He is not mine, he is the Lord's. I have been allowed to be his mommy and to raise him with his father, but he is not here on this Earth solely for my enjoyment as my son. He was created and God-willing will be allowed to grow into a man after God's own heart. A man that does great things. Far be it from me to get in the way of that plan. It is my job then to help him grow - by definition that means I need to help him grow-up and not try to keep him as my baby forever. I have a job to do, a job that brings tremendous pleasure that's otherwise indescribable but as things go, that opportunity comes with a cost, the chance to be hurt and sad for me as I "lose" my baby to the man he'll become.
And I know I'll be proud of that man. I know that I'll love him for as long as I have breath. I just hope I get out of his way and be someone who helps him to become the man he is supposed to be, in God's timing, rather than inadvertently keeping him under my wing too long.
Usually I enjoy this challenge. Yesterday as I heard him tell me that he didn't want me around (for that trip), it stung.