Monday, August 17, 2009

Leaving and Letting Go

I awoke at 5:30 a.m. this morning filled with dread. It occurred to me that at the end of this week, I will be leaving Finny to go across the country for four days, and suddenly I was seven years old again.

Just as I called my mom from my first sleepover at Tracy Reese's house saying, "Can you please come pick me up? I want to come home," this time I felt like rolling over, tapping David on the shoulder, and saying, "I'm not going and you can't make me."

It's such a blessing to be able to stay home and raise Finny full time, but it's times like these that I realize there is a downside to all the delicious Finny and Mommy time: the two of us don't know how to be apart.

In the early months our co-dependency was more physical. He needed nourishment and I needed somewhere to pour the milk. But now, it's more emotional, more mental for both of us. I've noticed that now, at ten months old, he's started to have preferences. He prefers Sandra Boynton books over Eric Carle books, he prefers macaroni and cheese over watermelon, and he prefers his Born Free sippie cups over Avent. He also prefers me over anyone else. David says I'm overestimating myself, but he reaches for me to hold him when he's upset, he crawls to find me in the kitchen if he can't see me, and he stares at me across the room if someone else is holding him. I can't help but think we've got something special here.

I do realize that he is still just ten months old and he's pretty adaptable and doesn't have the largest memory, so it's quite possible that I'll leave and when I come back, he'll stare me down and say, "I vaguely remember meeting you. Can you tell me your name again? Mommy? Oh yes, Mommy! We spent some time together back on Thursday. Yes, yes, the womb, all that. It's coming back to me now."

So perhaps the real issue is not how terribly he'll miss me. He will, after all, be showered with kisses and snuggles and attention from his adoring grandparents, who are bound to have a catalogue of pictures accounting for every bite, outfit and smile when we return. The real issue here is me. How do I get through four days without him?

I've been looking forward to this trip all summer to see one of my best friends get married, but also just to get away with David and have a break from "work." But now, I'm wondering how I'll make it. By the third day, David might start to wonder too as I start to tickle his toes, steal his nose, and spoonfeed him dinner.

Even though I am the one who carries Finny around from place to place, I can't help but wonder if I'll be the one calling Finny from Denver asking, "Can you please come pick me up? I want to come home."

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