Friday, January 17, 2014

Embracing Independence

When I drop Carter off at daycare he typically watches me as I walk away or even crawls after me, but I never get a wave or a good bye kiss blown my way.  Sometimes when Ty leaves Carter waves to him and it's just so sweet.  I think it's mostly because I'm holding him and waving to Ty so he follows suit.  The last few days when I arrived to pick him up at daycare, he reached toward me, stretched out his fingers and then curled them back toward himself repeatedly, beckoning me forward.  It melted my heart and plastered a giant grin across my face.

Sharing a waffle.
Trying some of my soy milk.
This morning as I was leaving Carter's classroom I looked back at him.  He pulled up onto a bookshelf, looked right at me, and waved good bye.  I instantly teared up.  It was the sweetest thing.  Like he was saying bye mommy, I'm fine here and I'm gonna have a great day, don't worry about me.  I also teared up because he looked so grown up standing there waving at me.  My brain almost instantly fast forwarded to other moments in life when I will have the same view.  Carter's first day of kindergarten.  Carter's first playdate.  His first sleep over.  His first weekend trip.  His first summer camp experience.  Dropping him off at his dorm to commence his college journey.  It's scary how fast it will all go by.  So I stood there outside his classroom door, watching him through the small rectangular window.  My tiny toddler, so fearless yet still needing his mommy.  He peered back at me from across his classroom and I finally had to pull myself away.  As I peeked back over my shoulder he had dropped down to the ground and crawled over to one of his friends to play.  With independence comes such joy because I know I am preparing him for the world and nurturing his ability to take care of himself.  That's not to say that joy isn't accompanied by tears.  Tears knowing that each day he will be a little bit older, a little bit different, needing his mom in different ways and I hate to say it, but needing me less.  It's almost as if he's waving good bye to the baby he used to be and embracing the toddler he has become.  My baby is a toddler.  Yes, a toddler.  It's time for me to get used to that.
Ready for a busy day at daycare.

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