I’m not sure if anyone noticed but I am off my regular schedule this week. I didn’t have a Monday post as I normally would. Nor will I have anything for Wednesday or Friday. In fact, this is going to be a Tuesday/Thursday week, and I think with two house-related projects, two special birthdays and THE HOLIDAYS in my near future, I may be sticking to this new routine for awhile. For my sanity.
Speaking of holidays, Halloween weekend was incredible. We left the city for a brief respite from urban life in Small Town, USA with some friends – the kind who are more family than friend - in their lovely home. There was plenty of scrumptious homecooked food and intimate, wonderful conversations while their kids and ours had a blast together. Well, when the two-year-olds weren’t fighting over the same things that is. We attended a Halloween party, leaving the house right at Little Miss’ bedtime and didn’t come home until a couple of hours later. We braced ourselves for a meltdown.
Except there wasn’t any. In fact, when we got there, she let go of our hands and explored the strange new place full of strange new faces (in costumes nonetheless) all by herself in her Abby Cadaby from Sesame Street costume – our own little fairy with wings who literally took flight from our sides and into the chaos that only kids high on Halloween candy could conjure.
That night, our little family of three shared the same guest bedroom although Little Miss was in a pack n play by herself. She awoke in the middle of the night and groggily said “Hi Mommy!”, “Hi Daddy” to us. I thought it was going to be a long night if I left her in there so I picked her up and placed her between her dad and me. We normally don’t have her in bed with us, but I was tired and didn’t feel like fighting her so I brought her in for some delicious snuggling. I was secretly thrilled to have her in my arms.
Except two minutes later, she asked to go back to her own space, much to my surprise. I was delighted that she didn’t think she needed to attach herself to us, but I was also slightly disappointment to lose the rare opportunity to cuddle with her in my sleep. Oh well, at least we all slumbered comfortably for the rest of the night.
The next day, we did more lounging and eating (don’t you love that?) and relished not having to do a single chore or run any errands. Little Miss made up for her lack of sleep with a long nap so we could indulge in more adult conversations and even a movie! I don’t remember the last time I watched a movie at home with friends in the middle of the day. When it came time for trick-o’-treating, she donned a giraffe costume that we thought would be more comfortable for her in the cold. My heart wasn’t the only one to melt when she said her “cheek o cheat” and politely thanked the candy people. She was the littlest in our troop of girls and boys between five and eight years old (all friends of our friends), who were probably competing for the biggest candy haul that would hopefully last until the next Halloween; it was easy for Little Miss Tiny to get lost in the shuffle.
Except when the kids placed themselves in front of her to get their baskets filled, she nudged her way around them, lifted her basket higher and demanded “This! This! This!” That pretty much guaranteed her share (which we would later imbibe in her sleep, although she didn’t know it then – hey, she had some Kit Kat for the first time and loved it. We kept those for her).
Finally, with a heavy heart and quick goodbyes (because we were already close to my daughter’s bedtime, and we were 2.5 hours away from her bed), we left the quiet pace of the country and drove home in the dark. While Little Miss was lost in a Barney episode (or two), I was lost in my own thoughts. She will be two in a couple of weeks, and I already feel like she needs me so much less each day. It’s hard for me to reconcile the difference between the baby who once clung on fiercely to my one finger, when that was all she could manage to hold, and the little girl who doesn’t even think twice before letting go of my hand to explore the world before her. While I admire her fortitude and her independence, it doesn’t make it any easier for me to let go when she does.
Except I have to. And I will just have to trust that she will always need me and come back to my side when she does. As a parent, my job is to make sure she will always know that I will be here. Waiting. Hoping. Smiling. And feeling so very proud as these words echo in my head, that’s my girl.
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How was your Halloween? Did you dress up? If so, what were you? How about your kid(s)? Are you still enjoying/stealing your (kids’) candy haul from the weekend?