I remember reading a parenting book while I was pregnant about attachment parenting. The line that stood out was “if done right, your child will want down – want to explore – and do it because they know you will be there when they need you because you have always made them feel safe.”
That parenting style was truly a necessity when DJ was young because, well, she was unhappy from birth to about six months old. We held her not only because we loved her but because she didn’t scream like bloody murder if held. She slept in our arms. She slept on our chest. She lived in a sling. She was constantly and always close to us, so we could sleep and have peace.
Then one day, she magically changed. She wanted down. She wanted to crawl and climb and run. She hated feeling she had to be held or constrained in a car seat or a stroller. She wanted to explore. And explore she did. We were never far away, but it was rarely a requirement that we were.
Her room is cleaned and packed.
Her bags are ready to go too.
The last two days have been an emotional roller coaster as she has gone from stressed out to excited to overwhelmed to excited to regretful she didn’t get more done before she left to excited to really excited.
And I think with each phase she has gone through – with each up and then down – I have felt it too.
A friend of mine whose son went to college this weekend posted that it was time she share her son with the world – she can’t keep him to herself forever. While many people were piping up that they had to come to terms about that too, I never felt that I wanted to keep DJ to myself. Nah. I just like watching the awesome stuff she does – the amazing woman she has become. I love talking to her and getting a good sense of what she is thinking and believing. I love discussing and debating things. I love watching her tackle things with great passion – and get pissed when shit doesn’t go the way she feels is right. I love she is making a mark in the world.
My sadness is that I’ll miss being in a front row seat while she does it.
Tomorrow, she leaves. And other people get that front row seat.
And I will miss her.