Dad and Janice arrived on Wednesday, a day much anticipated by Cameron. I doubt he stopped wriggling and bouncing all day on Wednesday! When we finally saw them, he threw himself at Grandma and Grandpa without hesitation, filled with smiles and laughter and hugs.
Yesterday was a big day for them while I went to work. They played in the park, went for a long walk, had lunch, walked more. Cameron snuggled with Grandma for some quiet reading time, then it was off to kickboxing/karate. He really did well there, focusing despite the big distractions of us sitting there watching and two black belt guys hefting around an enormous tire that shook the room every time it thumped down. Then he led the way down to the restaurant where we have Thursday date night (unfortunately Brianna couldn’t join this time). In all, a fun-filled, exciting, and clearly exhausting day.
He very much wanted me to snuggle with him in bed and read to him, and was quite insistent. That’s okay, I like our routine. When I turned out the lights though, he wrapped his arms around me, and still wanted to talk about the day. But … surprisingly to me, he didn’t like something he heard.
Two weeks? They’re here for two weeks? I don’t want them to stay for two weeks!
Let me tell you, I was confused. What the heck? So I tried to coax out of him what was going on.
But I’ll miss you Mama!
It’s been a year and a half since they were here, but last visit sure must have made an impression on him.
Last time, I was pretty much at my parenting rope’s end. I begged (and threw a bit of a snit) for them to come and visit for long enough that I could have a weekend on my own, the first since Cameron was born. Leif and I were also just starting to date when they came. So I did get my weekend on my own up in Whistler, and … well … Leif and I went out a lot. Dad and Janice visiting meant that I could regain some sanity, and have enough of ‘me’ available to get a relationship started with a very special person. The price was, however, that Cameron associates their visit with Mama’s availability becoming scarce.
At first last night I felt pretty guilty. It sucks to know that my choices left such an impression on my little guy.
I still feel badly. He hurt, and that’s not good.
I needed that time. Sometimes parents have to do what is best for themselves, put themselves first so that they can have the resources to do their jobs as parents better. It would be selfish of me, of course, if that was how I lived my life in general – ditching my kid who misses me on a regular basis. But that’s not what I did, nor what I do. My child comes first … but sometimes that means that I have to put myself first too.
It also sucks that he associates that ‘missing mama’ feeling with Grandma and Grandpa visiting. But has it altered their relationship? No, I don’t think so. He’s still quite happy to have them there. And we’ve got two weeks in which we can re-define what Grandma and Grandpa visiting means for him. Generally, our evenings will be warm and comfortable, filled with love. Leif and Kate will hopefully be with us lots.
And yes. Despite Cameron’s fears, I do hope to get a date night out with Leif. Cameron does need to know that Mama always comes back and he’s safe with Grandma and Grandpa. And Mama needs some me-time.