Posted in Blog, Mother, Shawna

A taste of independence

Quinn has always been a cuddly, clingy baby. That’s worked for me for the most part, as I’m pretty much a cuddly, clingy mama.  But there have been times over the past 10 months when I wished I could move more than two feet from her side without evoking a total breakdown. There were times when I wanted to start dinner before my husband finished work. There were times when I would have loved to go to the bathroom without Quinn either in my lap or screaming her lungs out at my feet.

Well, it seems I’ve suddenly and unceremoniously gotten my wish. Along with Quinn’s crawling has come an independent streak that I didn’t think I’d see in her for at least another year, if ever.

Not only have I been going to the bathroom by myself, and making dinner while she plays nearby, I’ve even run upstairs to grab something as she tinkers with a toy, sat on the couch making a quick phone call while she’s on the floor crawling, and watched joyously as she plays with other babies WITHOUT needing me to sit right next to her. It’s not like I’m sneaking off, either. She watches me moving around near her with a look of benevolence and ease.

I’m sure a mama who has had an independent baby all along would probably still see Q as a little needy. Ok, probably very needy indeed. But to me, this is a sea change! I’m like an empty nester with the day stretching out in front of her, a divorcee on a singles cruise, a golden retriever of its leash for the first time. I’m untethered, and that taste of freedom is at once wonderful and heartbreaking.

When your baby arrives, it’s such a colossal loss of independence and you’re just jarred (and charmed) into total acceptance. Then, your independence is slowly returned to you over the course of your life in these tiny little bite-sized pieces and it’s like you don’t even recognize them. They look pretty good, but you’re still wary of swallowing it all right away.

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  1. This made me teary – I remember these incremental grievings as my baby made leap after leap and I trailed behind. I’m supposed to be proud, I’d think. And I was, but every independence brought a little loss too. Nicely written mama Shawna!

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