Our almost 4 year old daughter, Addison has given us a run for our money since day one. While I will state the obvious, she is the light of our lives and has been a true gift from God, as the first-born, she has also taught us how much parenting will change one’s life. As a first time parent, you simultaneously have no idea what you are doing and a natural reaction to parent. Generally, you think that your baby is exactly what everyone else’s baby is like and that life will never be the same, (which it won’t, but different in a really great way).
From the start, Addison, (Add as she is typically referred to) was a ‘Mama’s girl’ and extremely sensitive. This has become one of her most endearing qualities and something Mark & I love most about her. But, she didn’t want to go anywhere without myself or my Dad, “Pa”. I started working full-time, (after having worked part-time & as a business owner) when Add was 18-months (picture above) and we made the decision to start her at the childcare center on UT’s campus. This center felt like family from the moment we walked in, but it took months for Addison not to cry as we would drop her off every morning. It. Was. Awful. Having to leave her and go to work has never been harder than that time. However, when I would get into work, (about 5 minutes later–I work on the same campus) I would call to check on her and her teacher would say, “She’s doing great!” or, “Right now she is going down the slide / eating breakfast / playing with friends.” This would of course reassure me that our decision was fine, but it also made me realize that children are resilient and extremely smart.
When I would leave Addison’s school, I would see children running to their classrooms and not even look back to see if their parent was following them–I longed to be that mother. After what seemed like an eternity, we have reached that point. And I want to reassure anyone reading this that if you have your own “Addison” or are going through something similar, it will get better. We have finally reached a point where the separation anxiety has lessened and the heart-wrenching guilt is not experienced daily.
What prompted this post was a text to Mark this morning, “Preschool is closed today”…his response, “Addison is super bummed”. We have reached that sweet spot, which I am sure will last for another thirty minutes, where Add has found her comfort zone and has realized that we have unconditional love for her and that we will always be there for her at the end of the day.
If you are blessed with a child who would rather be with you above anyone else, know that one day, it will be different and get easier. I wish someone would have told me that, or if they did, that I would have listened & believed them.
However…it isn’t fully gone as these are the exact words that came out of Addison’s mouth last week;
Immediately after walking in the house after work and greeting our babysitter & kiddos, Addison says,
“Which one of you is my Mom?”
It never ends.