Even with the help of photographs so easily taken and stored on a computer, it’s hard to really see changes in Cameron. It’s hard to really see how much things change in a year.
This morning I packed up the last things, made a quick batch of playdough for the plane ride, and we headed for the airport. It’s been a long day, but it’s ever so good to be here in Ottawa. After supper tonight I was struck by just how much things have changed since we were last here, a year ago, for both of us. A year in my life is a short period of time – but for a child who is only just turning three, it’s an eternity.
The biggest change in me is that a year ago I was on edge about custody of Cameron. It was a year since he’d seen his father, and I was upset for him about that. Even if I am convinced that Cameron is better off without his father involved, it’s still sad. Since then, the custody case went to court, and I was awarded sole custody and guardianship with “no language” concerning access. Which means in effect, I legally can choose how access will go should that ever come up, until A brings it back to court. With that settled, I’m more at ease. I no longer am filled with dread when I see a white van parked near home … or at least not quite so badly. It’s now two years since Cameron has seen A, and it’s not affecting me quite so much.
The big changes I’m seeing though are, of course, in Cameron. I’d forgotten what he was like a year ago until we arrived here. Last year he of course could not recall, at least not in a way he could communicate, having been here before. This year it was obvious that he remembered, something I didn’t expect. He remembered there were trucks in the basement. He remembered where the light switches were for the kitchen.
This year he’s much more observant, and his attention is caught much more strongly by small details. He’s aware of what is going on in other rooms. He asks questions. He teases. He’s much more confident on his feet – last year I didn’t like him going down the stairs unaccompanied, and the open access to the basement stairs frankly scared me. I was on edge the whole visit to some degree, monitoring where Cameron was. This time, while I’m aware, I know he’s alright on the stairs (might be time to remove the baby gate at home), though I’m sure once he discovers how to unlatch the china cabinet I’ll be a little more vigilant. Oh, and of course, he was still in diapers last time. Tonight I tucked my little love into his big-boy bed wearing pjs and no diapers.
I’m sure there are a kazillion other ways he’s much more a big boy, but that’s enough, I’m sure you get the point. Of course, none of this is unexpected. I’m not saying this is wonderous and extraordinary and that his progress should be celebrated around the world (okay, he’s my son, so I am just a little). I just mean that until today I hadn’t really grasped it. I needed to see Cameron in an environment he hadn’t been in for a year, to superimpose my memories of last year on the scene at the supper table.