Last weekend, I went away from my family for a ladies’ weekend. (By the way, it’s okay to feel extreme jealousy right now. I actually got time to read a novel…during the day!) I was only gone for two nights but when I got home, a strange young man greeted me. He looked sort of like my two year old son, Wolfy. He even called me, “Mommy”. But he definitely wasn’t the Wolfy that I know and love.
This child was different. He was older. He knew more letters of the alphabet and moved with a confident manly swagger. The Wolfy that I know has this cute little toddler prance and usually refuses to answer any questions.
I kept saying to my husband, “Is Wolfy different? Did he change a lot this weekend? Look how much he grew up!” But of course my husband had no idea what I was talking about. He just shrugged his shoulders and continued on with his evening, but I couldn’t stop staring at my son. Studying him. Who is this child?
Then it dawned on me. This is Wolfy out of context. This is the Wolfy that everyone else gets to see all the time. Even my husband gets to be amazed by our son frequently because he isn’t around him quite as much. Because I’m a stay-at-home-mother, I’m around Wolfy constantly.
I am deep in the trenches of toddler-hood.
It is a constant stream of prying play-doh out of the trunks of toy cars, counting back from three, and getting up from meals over and over to get the right drink, the ketchup, a new fork.
I only see Wolfy from two angles. There is the up close of cuddling, of reading a story, of explaining why it’s so very wrong to pinch my nipple. Then there is the peripheral angle of watching Wolfy play by himself out of the corner of my eye while I make dinner, of watching him in the rearview mirror while we sing the ABCs together over and over, of holding hands on through busy parking lots.
Being away had allowed me to take a step back. When I did, I saw a new side of Wolfy. And I realized that he’s growing up just fine. He’s a brilliant and beautiful.
All my worries for him are just normal super-involved parental worries and they are really for nothing.
And since I totally have a totally unbiased and completely objective opinion now, I can honestly say: he’s growing into the best little boy in the whole world!