Something dawned on me this morning. It was the undeniable reality that my precious baby boy is growing fast and becoming a little person. I drove him to daycare, like usual, and these days instead of carrying him into his classroom, I let him walk there. Like a big boy.
"Okay, let's go find your friends!" I said.
"Ah hahahahahaaaaa..." he wailed with excitement. He scuttled down the hall and right to his room. Greeted by his teacher:
"Good morning, let's go wash hands!" He smiled back at me and waved, and that was it.
See ya kid. You're just fine now, aren't you? I smiled at how confident he has become, yet I still looked around, as if to make eye contact with someone... "Did you see that? See ya, Ma..."
I think this is something we go through often in life. Not just with children. It can be in any human relationship. We realize that someone who was previously super-reliant on us, deperate for us, at every moment... no longer is. And with that comes an inevitable and necessary letting go.
With my son, I smile inside to know that he is happy and well-adjusted, and growing smarter. That he loves his friends and his day school. And I surrender to letting go of my want for him to clamor for me. He shouldn't, after all, at this age.
Sometimes we think because someone isn't pleading, demanding, pursuing, chasing, begging, crying...whichever the case may be... that we are no longer needed, no longer useful. But I think our mission is to lift up others around us, constantly. Our kids, our families, our friends, and loved ones. The goal is for them NOT to need us and cling. We WANT them to thrive, to grow, to stand up in this world and take their OWN place. To know their hearts, to connect to their souls, and to live independently with joy. And those lessons start young.
And when we release this, this idea that we are at a loss if we aren't needed, we clear a space. We realize that (with the exception of infants of course) it's better not to be needed. It's better and healthier for everyone.
We can say... that's okay now, I don't have to think about that. I don't have to spend energy on that. Now, what can I do for me? Or how else can I expand and grow, myself? Where can I focus my energy instead? We can say without guilt, or fear, or trepidation... that 'this is not a concern anymore.' When releasing ourselves of the need to worry about or control or 'save' others, we get more in tune with ourselves. And those 'others' are free to thrive, naturally. As it should be.
I will say this, though: with my toddler's growing independence and ability to strut out on his own, comes the most beautiful reunion at the end of the day. He enjoys his day, he learns, he plays, but when I come to get him...instant recognition with a smile. As if to say, "what a great day I had!"
"Mommy!" And he runs to me. Simply because he's that happy to see me. No other reason.
And what peace there is in that.