41/52 – Connect
A portrait of my son, once a week, every week, for the 3rd year of his life.
Anakin: The days are getting warmer and we’re enjoying more time outside. Our days are still planned around that vital afternoon sleep which I am even more thankful for these days. You’ve been having long sleeps too, without them a massive nighttime meltdown isn’t a maybe, it’s a certain. As you’re getting closer to 3 it’s easy to get tricked into thinking you can handle more than you can. We’re learning fast that we need to hold back. You’ve been going to childcare on Fridays for about a month now and we’ve figured out that the day has just been too long for you. You’re usually quiet, but content when we pick you up and you love it there, but lately I’ve noticed you’re also dead tired and feeling disconnected. By dinner and bath time all hell breaks loose. The meltdowns are long, hard and painful, most of all for you. This Friday night was no different. But this one was particularly bad after a couple of days where we were all a bit off beat and perhaps not all winning. You desperately needed to cry it all out while feeling safe. After a long struggle I finally got you to relax, wrapped up in my arms. And you cried so hard. No anger, just so much hurt. And once it was all out we could reconnect and start over.
What is this trend of wanting to tip the cradle over so early? Push our children out and away, say “stand on your feet, grow up, be independent” when they are still just children? I hear people say things like “It’s so good for you to be away from your mother” and I wonder how disconnected these people are with reality. Or questioning why our son isn’t in childcare full-time. It’s true, we are looking into getting him in another day or so, but seeing how hard Fridays are, I am filled with doubt. Connection and dependence isn’t a bad thing. Feeling safe and connected is what gives my son the freedom and the confidence to roam. It’s why I can leave him without him feeling abandoned, it’s why he loves people, it’s why he is so free.
Why are some people hellbent on fostering and celebrating disconnection and perhaps more importantly, why do they feel they can comment on such things to our children?