|brothers. ain't it great?|
this afternoon, my husband put john down for his nap while i was in the other room. i came back to the living room and he was already in bed, presumably asleep. and this is awesome, right? he's learning to do that without his mommy having to be there, he's not fussing when daddy is the only parent there to help, and he's listening and doing what he is told. he's going down for a nap peacefully and without stalling and arguing, and he's doing it without me there. that is a parenting win for us for sure.
but ... but. it made me cry. john didn't even come to say goodnight to me. he didn't want to hug me before his rest, or tell me sweet dreams and he loves me. he didn't need me.
i cried. i told my husband how bittersweet this was for me, because my first baby demonstrated in a small but significant (for a three year old) way that he didn't need me.
and then i checked myself. one of the core pieces of how my husband and i aim to parent is that we want to raise our boys to be strong, independent, and to live beautiful lives. i've often said that the day our children move out and begin their own families, the day they are functional adults doing amazing things in the world -- that will be the day we know we've been successful as parents. (and just to be clear, amazing doesn't have to be big. they will find their own amazing and live it, and we will proudly support and cheer for them.)
so a nap without saying goodnight to mommy is just one step toward that goal. (and a small step at that, since it's quite likely tomorrow he will utterly refuse to sleep until mommy reads to him, hugs him, snuggles him, tucks him in, etc.) and it's a triumph, too, and a necessary one. with a new baby, my time is divided. it is wonderful and awesome (and natural) that john would lean on daddy more. and it's good for daddy, too, and it's overall great.
intellectually, analytically, i know that this is good news. i'm proud of our little family for adapting and growing.
but i still cried.