My best friend was telling me about how her daughter of 16 months was hysterically crying for her as she left to go to work. So, once my friend got to her job, she called the sitter to see if her daughter was okay, and of course she was. She dried her eyes and blew mommy kisses ten minutes after her mommy walked out the door.
Hearing her story made me smile, yet cringe. I remember those days of walking out the door to see my son screaming, crying and reaching out for me. I felt helpless, because I was his mother and I couldn’t ease his mind or comfort him. If I continued to nurture him, it would jeopardize the time that I would arrive to work. As a parent, it’s completely heartbreaking to hear those screams and to know their pain. Eventually, you learn to “tune it out” and just walk away knowing they’ll be okay and you need to be at work on time. It’s unfortunate that you have no choice, but to put work over your child in those circumstances. What my child never realized is that later on I would call his mommom to check in. Of course the report back would be that he was fine moments after I left and was currently happily playing. Always a relief to hear.
Now, my son is eight years old. I walk him into daycare every morning. When we’re saying our goodbyes, he’ll give me an one armed hug with a nonchalant look on his face. He’s blushing in embarrassment that his friends are watching. Then, we sneak a little kiss and I let him go on his way. I hate that he’s growing up so fast and the affection is fading due to the fear of judgment.
However, don’t be fooled, he only acts like that at daycare. He welcomes full hugs and kisses any other time. So, I let him have his moment of pride at daycare, but at home I soak up all that I can. However, I know that within the next couple years, the hugs and kisses will slowly vanish. He won’t need my affection as much anymore. He will be independent and confide in others.
I cringed when my friend told me her story, because I remember the heartbreak and cries from my son. How much I wanted to turn around and stay home with him. Wrap my arms around him and play with him all day long. I smiled, because one day she will miss it. She will miss that her daughter will want her so much. She will watch the times where her daughter starts to pull away like mine is starting to do with me. She will miss it, like I’m starting to miss with mine.