Rejection and Return
This is boy, Everett.
He is: well, he’s a lot of things. He can kill you with his withering scowls. He can warm you with his mischievious grin. He has the most frustrating sense of independence. He is my most cuddly baby ever.
So, for the past little while – few months, eJo has been very uninterested in his mamma. He is all lovey dovey for his dadda, he swoons over his dog, Daisy, and he can’t resist tagging along with Olivia and Calvin everywhere. But when it comes to his mamma, he seemed to care less.
First, I have to say, I’m used to this reality. All of my children prefer their dad to me. I chalk it up to the novelty factor. Second, I understand that the other kids (and even the dog) are more entertaining than me – all I ever do is clean and cook and cook and clean. So it doesn’t surprise me that I’m trumped by pretty much every one else. But that’s not to say it doesn’t hurt.
Now I know, you’re thinking what I thought: “Get over it, self, you can’t go around having your feelings hurt by an 18 month old baby!”
Still, when we had a Girls Night + Everett, and Olivia, Ejo & I cuddled under the blankies for an evening of “How to Train Your Dragon” and Everett kept climbing away from me to cuddle up to Olivia, I couldn’t help but tear up . . . just a little. When Wyatt asked about it later, (as I was still tearing up at the thought of it) I lied. I made up a lame excuse of something or other.
Because what mother wants to admit her baby doesn’t want her. And what mother wants to add to the humiliation by admitting it makes her insecure.
So that’s why when one Sunday three weeks ago, when the nursery leader brought a hysterical eJo to Sunday School, and that truley distraught boy refused even to go to his daddy, instead clawing his way over to my arms, I felt a little redeemed. I felt a little happy. Not at his unhappiness. No, I cuddled and cooed and patted him to comfort. But I felt happy in my own mother-ness again. It was a good reminder of what motherhood is: the last one your child wants to turn to, but the first one they do turn to when things really go wrong.
And I guess that’s kinda the goal anyway: to raise children who are strong, capable, and independent, who no longer need their mothers to stroke their backs or their egos, but instead to cheer them on as adults, ready for their own flight in this world. But I’ll always be there for you, Everett, when things really do go wrong. I will always be cooing and cuddling you in my heart.