This post is about a truly humbling experience.
Recently, I was separated from my child. That is my exaggerated way of saying she spent the night away from me. I normally welcome these times because they are rare and I fully need the break but this time was different. I did not initiate the separation; she did. It was just like the phrases you see on onesies; “I’m going to Grandma’s/Nana’s/Granddad’s/Auntie’s house etc. It was comical to see…at least initially.
However, when time for our separation came, I was not 100% comfortable with it. Yes, I knew she would be safe, loved, and well cared for but I had a problem; not a big problem, more like medium-sized problem with being away from her where she was. Something was amiss in the environment and I was afraid she would experience some confusion and unnecessary discipline if I were not there to protect her. I did not feel this way until we arrived and I sensed the precursors of what, in recent times, has sent me (with Jazmine in tow) packing. Because Jazmine was already looking forward to her sleepover, I did not want to cancel it due to my feelings alone. Not to mention having to point out that which I did not want to explain.
Although I wanted nothing more than to take my child and run, I left her.
I felt like crap the entire ride home. I told myself I was going to call her every few hours until I was satisfied she was ok. I scrapped all of my earlier me-time options (running errands, going to the gym) to sit and mope and worry about Jazmine.
It was here in my sad humbling tale, that I had my revelation. This must be exactly how Tanya and Anthony’s mother feel when their children visit with their father because they want to be with him.
This blew me away!
I have more sympathy for their plight now then I did before.
However, my history of being on the receiving end of said behavior stopped me dead in my tracks.
I can’t call Jazmine every few hours. How would that help her? What do I achieve by staying in the house moping, complaining and eating myself into oblivion? Nothing! No. That is not true. It achieves something. It grows distrust between me and otherwise trustworthy people. It grows co-dependent feelings in me towards my child. It fosters distrust between Jazmine and myself. It draws Jazmine into thinking she can not spend a significant amount of time away from her mother without checking in. It also does not allow for Jazmine to experience people and their emotions on her own and develop her own opinions. It hurts her in the long run.
I am not about to do that. Not willingly at least.
I’ve seen what that way of thinking and behavior pattern does and it is not healthy for anyone involved; child nor adult. If I am always there to buffer and protect her from people I know, how does she grow? Yes, she is a child and MUCH protection happens to keep her safe from all harm current, possible, and probable. HOWEVER, she will not remain a child forever. Having her to learn significant life lessons in real life but safe environments is best. Yes, this caused me great concern momentarily, but after praying and casting ALL of my cares and concerns to God about Jazmine, I am able to relax and trust Him. Should anything confuse her, make her wonder, or cause her to question, whenever I find out every detail of her time away, (Jaz doesn’t always share what happens immediately) I will guide her as God guides me. I will not fret and snivel while she is away. I will not retreat and be less of who I am during a respite. I will not be a pest (purposeful or otherwise) to my child nor those whom we entrust with her.
I praise God for teaching me this valuable lesson for my sake, to feel a glimpse of what Tanya and Anthony’s mother feels, and for His glory.