"I want mami to leave."
Liam has always been a mama's boy. There was a time when I wouldn't dare leave his sight because he wanted me around all the time. We would have an especially difficult time on Sundays. That's because every Sunday we would go to church. And every Sunday we would try to leave him in the church nursery. And every Sunday he would freak out as soon as I made a move for the door. And I hated hearing my baby boy cry for me. So I would usually stay with him. There were some Sundays when I didn't even want to go to church because I knew the battle that awaited. Some people encouraged me to leave him even if he cried, but I just couldn't do it. I always felt terrible and ended up going back to pick him up. I wanted to ease him into it so I started volunteering in the children's ministry so I could be with him. I wanted him to get used to the environment even if I had to be around for him to actually be calm and enjoy it.
After Isabel was born Liam started getting more independent. He would still have a hard time staying in the church nursery but he would only fuss for ten minutes or so and then get over it. He wouldn't be too happy with me when I would pick him up because I'm guessing he felt angry that I left him. Little by little though, thanks to school and just getting older, he has looked forward to going to church to play with his friends. He walks into the classroom and says bye like it's no big deal.
And yesterday...well, yesterday was monumental in my little mama world. We visited the downtown campus of our church. I had my doubts about whether Liam would want to stay in children's church since we've never been there before and Liam is wary of strangers. But we showed him around and let him meet the teachers and then he looked at me and said, "I want mami to leave." Picture my heart shattering and tears streaming down my face! Okay, I held it together but inside I was dying. I couldn't believe this boy of mine was telling his mama to leave so he could have fun without her. I meannnnn....
Even though it took me completely by surprise and broke my heart a little I was so proud. It takes some kids a little longer to let go of their moms. Sometimes we adults push our children to become independent too quickly. I can understand why...but at the same time, I think it's important to allow our kids to develop and step out on their own time. I never stopped giving Liam the opportunity to go to children's church without me. Every Sunday I would try to leave him there and talk it up like it was the best place ever...and every Sunday he would refuse. Until one day he stopped refusing. And one day...he told me to leave. He was ready.
*A big shout out and thank you to CF Kids, the children's ministry of our church. We are so blessed by all these hardworking people. They absolutely love and adore my kids and take great care of them each and every Sunday. It warms my heart to see my church family patiently loving on my kids. Thank you, thank you, thank you for putting this crazy mama at ease and giving me and my husband time to worship together without worrying about our kids. You're all awesome!