We were recently at the park after almost a week of being stuck indoors. The weather has been gloomy and cold so we’ve been indoors. Once I saw that the sun was trying to make its way through the clouds, I scooped the kids up and took them to the park.
As I was settling W on a blanket I had placed on the grass, O began tugging on my arm to walk around and search for pinecones. I don’t know what it is about pinecones but he loves to examine and collect them. With O getting older, I’m starting to notice that he is much more independent and beginning to want to explore on his own. I’ve realized that I like encouraging him to try things on his own too. It could be a combination of the fact that W has the majority of my attention nowadays as he is much more mobile. I quickly looked around and realized that we were the only people at the park, so I smiled at him reassuringly, and told him to go ahead to search for pinecones.
I was still smiling to myself as I watched him slowly make his way towards were most of the pinecones seem to be. He looked back and I once again reassured him that it was okay to go on his own. After he found the pinecones, he was smiling to himself as he gathered them, calling back to me from time to time.
Running back with the pinecones he gathered, he was laughing gleefully to himself, and calling out “Mama, mama, look!” I could see the happiness and look of accomplishment all over his face. He was so proud that he gathered them himself and even more so happy that I was smiling back at him.
I definitely don’t know if I’m doing this motherhood or parenthood thing right. I have moments where I want to hurriedly help him but hold myself back to watch him figure things out on his own. I’ve been trying to make sure that he understands that I’m still nearby to help him but that he can try to do certain things on his own.
I know that in the future, holding myself back will be more difficult. The situations and experiences he’ll be facing may not be full of happy moments. I’m scared of the experiences he will face that will give him the feeling of disappointment, the feeling of loss, helplessness, and maybe anger. I know those types of experiences will teach him such valuable lessons but it doesn’t make it easier for me. One of the things I can do, even starting now, is to show him that no matter what I will be there for him. Happy, sad, or disappointing time in his life – I will be there for him. I may be doing motherhood from afar at times but I’m always ready to celebrate with him when he accomplishes something or open my arms wide to comfort him during the harder times.