Last night I went over for a visit, the first since that night. He saw me and he began to cry. And cry. And cry. It was quite distressing for my daughter and her husband that he would be so upset to see me. I explained that this was because the last time he saw me, they left. He was afraid it was going to happen again, and at 14 months he could not understand our assurances that they were not leaving. At one point my daughter said, "I am sorry momma. I am glad you are taking this so well." They worry about what happens in a few weeks when they disappear for a few days while his little sister is being born. (We will all survive.)
I have been through this with Bryson and Connor. I am an old hat at this fear that, "my parents are leaving me with HER." It will eventually fade and Malachi will hopefully be like Bryson is now, choosing to stay with me, his little face lighting up when I arrive.
So here are my words of wisdom for parents and grandparents dealing with a child at this stage.
Rational fear is needed. It is God's gift to us for our protection. I trust animals and children to know if a person is a threat. And right now, for Malachi, I am a threat- that his parents might leave. He is too young to understand that they are not going to leave, or if they do they will return. He needs time. He does not need to be told his fear is silly, or unnecessary- that would teach him not to take his own fears seriously and could put him in harm's way in the future. He needs assurance that he is loved by all involved, and he needs me to visit more often when they will not be leaving so he can learn that sometimes they will leave and sometimes they won't. He needs to feel safe.
So here is my fear- that people are reading (I know you are as my website counts my visitors and I have good traffic) but not enjoying it or returning. It is hard to tell. No one is commenting. I got a few emails about my MLK post but that is it. Are the same people returning? Are people finding anything of importance here? I tell myself, "Be glad there haven't been any negative comments." And yet that irrational fear that I might fail at this new venture lingers. So if you have a moment to let me know how I am doing drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for listening.