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One ring. Many layers.

Many layers

Sometimes, I forget how big my child has grown, both physically and mentally. And on occasion, I can forget how much he still has to learn. We had an unstructured day, his first day of vacation ironically, where we spent a good part of it indoors. He didn’t want to do much of anything. I gave him a quick 5 minute warning that the TV was turning off. Once I voiced the final warning, he started yelling and howling like he had his foot caught in a bear trap. After attempting to calm him down, he ran into his room and proceeded to scream into his pillow. I walked into his room and sat on the bed with him. He curled up against me, moistening my shoulder with his wet eyes and he started rolling and fiddling with my ring on my left hand.

He hasn’t done that since I think he was an infant. When he was very small, and he was still feeding in the dead of night, I would take him to the rocking chair in the living room. My favorite time was the 2:30 am feeding. He was so sleepy as he ate and while doing so, he would twirl my ring around my finger. It was like we were the only people awake, my son slowly drinking, hearing him swallow and feeling his tiny fingers on my ring. It was one of my first memories of him, and some of our first bonding moments.

So, when he was upset, and fidgeting with my jewelry, it made sense to me why he was doing it. It was comforting for him, made him feel safe. I long to have him be able to make decisions on his own and to work to better regulate his emotions. And there are going to be times when he CAN’T.  He still needs me.

There is nothing wrong with him needing me. I am so glad that he knows he can come to me if he is having trouble. But there are times when he doesn’t know how to prevent that chaos or when he’s knee deep in it he doesn’t know how to get out.  That’s when I need to step in. I do still struggle with it. I’m not quite sure when to let him make the choice or to make it for him. It’s a circus high wire act. I am on pointe shoes, with a dainty umbrella, trying to look graceful while realizing I have no net.

Today was our first day of camp. He’s at a new camp, me at the same camp but a higher position. He was an old pro at this transition business. I was a quivering jello mold. However, my darling friend J.T. set me straight. He said, “If they didn’t think you could do the work, they wouldn’t have given you the job.” I took that compliment and mixed it in with a good dose of confidence and a generous shake of ninja like skill and agility and I was transformed into something stronger, firmer and heartier. I was proud of what I had done today, and equally as proud of what Nate had accomplished as well.

One ring. Many layers. Firm, but giving. Delightfully refreshing, enjoyable, friendly and a little fruity.   

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