Thursday, July 05, 2007

Dependent's independence

Fourth of July eve marked a milestone in my motherhood. "Mom, would you like for me to get you a dish of ice cream?" was the question I thought was ushering in a new level of independence for my daughter. "Wow," I thought. "My daughter is waiting on me." When she found an insufficient amount of cool creamy confection in the kitchen, she said she'd go to the freezer in the utility room for more. She came back with two bowls of ice cream. My husband and I decided we could get used to this kind of service from the same girl who recently "forgot" how to make her bed. On the Fourth, Faith arranged her own craft on the kitchen table and proceeded to work quietly by herself as I baked a cake. Once the cake was done, I started teaching her to sew. She nearly mastered the straight stitch without my help and will venture on to curves and circles in the coming days before we try a real pattern. But by afternoon, she was clinging to my side at a pool party. Faith was too shy to talk to the grown-ups, too timid to go swimming alone or talk to another young girl about a year older. After Daddy grabbed her giggling self into the water from the pool steps, she swam right back to me and then plastered her wet self next to me on the side of the pool. She really wanted me to go in the water with her, but I was enjoying the company of other adults and didn't want to go swimming. I know Faith loves the water, so I didn't want to give in and baby her. It didn't take long before she and the little girl were buddies, swimming and eating together and having a great time. While I am looking forward to her self-sufficiency, I know I need to relish these times when she still wants Mom around.
-Liz Fabian

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