mother of the year

On Monday, we had a mother-daughter day because the church office was closed and Russ was gone from 5:30 am-8:00pm.  We did fun things and took advantage of our time and the beautiful day.  It was going to be an awesome day.

We started off by going shopping for shoes – poor Piglet wore last year’s shoes  (that were hand-me-down shoes) on Easter – she needed some that actually fit.  Then we went to Chick-Fil-A for lunch.  While in the play area, I got really annoyed (unreasonably so) at the other little girl in there.  She kept screaming at the top of her lungs and trying to boss Piglet around.  She couldn’t have been more than six months older than Piglet, yet her mom just sat in the dining area chatting to a friend, not watching her kid, even though the sign did say “parental supervision” was required.  I was getting oddly angry at the mother.  Then I began to feel sorry for the daughter because she kept trying to talk to me like she really just wanted attention. 

And I started wondering at what age do can you reasonably let your child go in to the play area and not feel the need to watch closely. 

Then after nap, we went to the playground, and my dialogue with myself continued as I watched most of the parents sit while their kids ran a muck.  I, on the other hand, closely watched Piglet as she made her way around the rather large park.   I have at least moved on from actually being on the equipment with her (being pregnant while climbing and sliding is not a good idea).  But I still feel the need to be near her just in case, especially with large open spaces above six-foot drops and big kids running around not watching where they are going.  

So again, I’m wondering how parents can sit around and not know where their kids are (this park is very large and you cannot see the whole thing from any one location)and at what age can you feel confident that your kids are ok without you being right there with them.

After a break at the water fountain, we went back to playing, and Piglet was right in front of me but went into a fort area where I couldn’t see her.  I didn’t realize there was another way out, so I just stood on the outside waiting for her to come back out. (She typically comes to find me if she can’t see me, so I wasn’t worried).  But after 15 seconds of not being able to see her, I went around to the other side and realized there was another exit and that she had gone through it.  I looked around me – up and down – around – under.  I couldn’t see her.  I ran into the middle of the playground but couldn’t see her.  I ran back to the entrance to make sure she didn’t make it back to the playground and didn’t see her.  I asked an old man who was sitting near the exit if he had seen her, but he hadn’t.  I ran back to the middle of the playground.  tears start welling up.  my heart starts beating really quickly.  I start to have trouble breathing.  I still didn’t see her.  I ran up on the playground so I could get a better view.  And I saw her.  playing just fine, unaware that she had nearly given me a heart attack.  It couldn’t have been longer than a minute, but it was the longest minute of my life. 

Last week, Piglet was challenging and we would say things  like, “Can we give her away?”.   But in that longest minute of my life, I realized more than ever that no matter how frustrating she gets, she keeps my heart going and I wouldn’t be whole without her.  And that we are not anywhere near the point at which I will let Piglet out of my sight at a playground, not even for 15 seconds.

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4 Responses

  1. Poor thing! I have so been there. Worst. feeling. ever! I didn’t let James run around without me until was five or six. John Campbell is a little bit different because he’s usually with James and James is pretty good about watching out for him. Still, I never let them completely out of my sight and James is going on nine.

  2. my heart started racing just reading this!

    we just now. this year, started letting sera go off on her own in SOME places. we let her go into the chick fil a play area by herself. but even at the playground we go to often i still feel the need to watch her closely. i follow josh on his heels but let sera go. she definitely has the first born girl personality. she is sweet to other kids, will do exactly what i tell her to, and always checks in with me. but that doesn’t mean i trust the other adults so i am always yelling across the playground to check on her! we definitely trust her, but she is entering that age when stranger danger is really a concern. it’s so hard to give them the freedom to grow up but protect them at the same time.

  3. btw, both patrick and i have “lost” at least one of our kids at least once. it happens to all of us!

  4. oh hon. you put into words exactly how I feel. I am still on the equipment with connor. and I know all the other moms think I am manic the way I hover. I can’t even be in someone else’s home without following my child around – terrified not that she will go missing but that she will break something. wish I knew when safe independence kicks in, but will let you know when we get there as a 6 month heads up!

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