Sunday, July 29, 2007

On the Other Side

... of separation anxiety. I didn't think this day would ever come. But it did, a little over a month ago.

I had left Peter in the church nursery, as usual, and stood in the hallway waiting for my pager to go off, as usual, signifying that my son's earsplitting screams had finally convinced the most determined of nursery workers that, alas, this kid just needs his mama. When fifteen minutes passed, I wondered what on earth was going on, so Tom went to check. "He's doing fine. He's eating a snack." No way! Thirty minutes later, he was still fine. A fluke, surely. What would happen the next week?

Trucks, push toys, new friends and coloring-- but no tears. Actually, they said he did start to cry at one point, but that he quickly got over it. What! My son soothe himself?

Today was our fourth successful Sunday. Things didn't look good at first. Suffering from a baby hangover (i.e., mama and daddy kept him out way too late last night), Peter walked into the nursery and began a tantrum which probably made a small jump in the Richter scale. I passed him to a worker, waited in the hallway, and peeked back five minutes later to see him grinning in the face of younger baby.

Meanwhile, father and son are enjoying their first extended spells together. I actually went to a studio to work on some of my freelance projects and spent five hours away from home. Five hours. Do you know what a woman can accomplish in five hours, without her conjoined son?

What I didn't realize, though, was that while my son may outgrow separation anxiety, I never will. I'm not ready for five-hour breaks from him. But three hours... Heck, yeah!

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