Yesterday Little D and I were in Trader Joe’s. She loves the little taste testers they give out so part of our ritual is that she gets to grab one (or in the case of cookies, three) as we make our way down our grocery list. So she did, and we moved on to the next aisle.
Once there, she asked me if she could run back and throw her little sample cup in the trash near the testing station. I didn’t feel like traipsing back there, so I said sure. Go for it. Quickly. And then come right back. And go in that direction (the one that would not take her near the entrance to the store).
This meant her leaving my line of sight, completely, going back and around to the other aisle.
A woman a few feet away with a toddler and a baby in her cart said it first, “Wow, I am so not at that stage yet.”
Guess what, mama? Me neither. I had to take a deep breath while D scurried away from me, and I don’t think I let it go until she came flying back around the corner.
I replied, “Trust me, I am just getting used to it.”
And the sad part is, I am. I have said time and again that I don’t believe today’s world is one in which I will be able to let my kids out of sight, even for a moment. I read the horrific stories online, I watch Dateline, I know what lurks around every corner, even in the suburbs, and my imagination absolutely gets the best of me.
But Little D turned five a few months ago…and suddenly something changed.
She craves a little independence. She wants to be able to stand outside the house and wait for me while I run inside to grab my purse. She wants to go and throw out her sample cup at Trader Joe’s. She even wants to go into public bathrooms alone…sniff, sniff…and ew.
And as her mother, I have to take those baby steps in order to let her take those big strides.
So I let her run away from me yesterday in Trader Joe’s. I couldn’t see her at all for maybe 15-20 seconds.
And then she came back. And we moved on to the cereal section. And you could almost see her standing a little taller, smiling with a little more confidence, feeling like a big girl.
And nothing had happened. Well…at least nothing bad.
*Photo via here