I signed Sam up for swimming lessons at the pool down the street.  Because it’s a state pool, they offer free swimming lessons for kids, but you have to sign up at the crack of dawn and they really don’t publicize it.  But I got up at five thirty and stood in line for two hours to sign him up, and now he’s good to go every morning for a half hour, starting the week after school gets out.

It’s odd, because this is the first “activity” that he’s had any interest whatsoever.  He was horrified at the prospect of going to actual summer camp at the JCC (where EVERY other little kid goes) and apathetic about baseball or street hockey or gymnastics.  Any other option – he was either violently opposed to or possibly neutral towards it, but never actually excited and looking forward to it.  But swimming lessons – he can’t wait.  
And my boy – my beloved baby boy, who thinks the sun rises and sets on his Mama – the one who only gave up nursing after I literally ran out of milk and had been begging for months for him to stop, the one who ran after me, heartbroken, when I tried to leave him at kindergarten, the one who falls asleep every night snuggled as close as he can – that boy popped out into the dining room last night and asked if Daddy could please take him on the first day of swimming lessons.  
Wow.  Just… wow.  I mean, kudos, right?  This is GREAT, on just about every level.  He trusts his Daddy, he loves his Daddy and that’s exactly as it should be.  But I had this little moment of “wow – he’d rather have Marc than me there.”  I mean, he’s almost six.  He’s preferred Marc for all kinds of things for a long time – but there were certain things that we just my domain.  And when he was nervous and scared and trying a new thing – that was always my territory.  I didn’t really claim it, exactly, but it’s always been his default position, clinging to me, that I felt pushed aside and confused.  Really?  You want DADDY there for the first day?  Not Mama?  
It sounds selfish, and I don’t think it is.  After this little blip of confusion, there was this rush of satisfaction – yes, this is what I want.  I want for him to feel as nurtured and safe with his Daddy as he does with me.  And selfishly, yes – I want to chill out at home and drink my coffee and relax, while Marc treks out the door before the morning is really awake and goes to swimming lessons.  So overall, it’s a great thing, and I’m happy about it – but it was a pretty major milestone last night.

(I’m linked up with http://yeahwrite.me/61-open-challenge/ this week)

30 thoughts on “Had a little moment last night

  1. Oh, such mixed feelings! I have a 4 month old boy and I love having him most of the time while his father works out in his shop. Dad takes over during the night and does night feedings. I know there is going to be a time when my little man will want to be out in the shop doing guy things with his daddy, and I await that day with both anticipation and trepidition.

    Great post!

  2. it is funny how us moms lay claim to certain avenues of our kids development. Most times I'm happy that daddy is finally becoming fan favourite, but other times I'm a little jealous when they call for him, and him specifically. And I have to remind myself that it's nice to have a break, even if that break means no snuggles at night, etc.

  3. I am so with you here. My baby boy has actually preferred my husband since day one and I am sort of devastated. I know I should roll with it, but I thought that baby boys loved their mommies the MOST MOST MOST. Anyway, good luck with the swimming lessons. It's hard to let go! I found you on Yeah Write…love this post. Great writing.

  4. It funny how as a mother we have certain expectations of what our role in our children's lives will be. Almost always, it never works out as planned for a vast variety of reasons. We just have to learn how to roll with the punches.

  5. I remember the first time my son picked my husband over me…

    I think he was probably around 18 months old and I KNOW I got in the car and drove around and sobbed.

    Like a lunatic. (Or a pregnant lady. Which I was.)

    Either way. Now that he is almost 15 and my daughter is 13, I have the insight you ALREADY have – that this is a good thing. It shows they are secure in our love as mothers.

    You're a wise one.
    I was a blubbering idiot.

    (Sometimes that's a blurry line, no?)

  6. It's a milestone! I was so sad when our oldest began to prefer his dad accompany him to certain activities rather than me. Now that I'm on kid #5, I realize it's a blessing. I can't be everything to every person. And it's not fair that I try. Husband needs his time with the kids too. And mom needs her uninterrupted coffee and donut. Haha!

  7. I know what you mean—it's not selfish. It's good for them to want & need Daddy too. In fact, it's really nice for me and helps me out a great deal when something like this happens. ANd it helps things feel more like a partnership instead of Mommy doing everything, you know?


  8. This is a big milestone, and it is bittersweet. It's like losing the first tooth. You are happy for them because they are so happy, but every time you see that gap in his
    mouth (or the massive rabbit teeth that grow in to fill the gap), you can't help missing your little baby and his little baby pearl teeth. It's a one way street. But never fear, I'm sure next time he gets the stomach flu only Mommy will do! 😉

  9. At some point, little boys realize that they are more like daddy than mommy. They compare themselves to their fathers. On the that day, he didn't love you any less; he didn't love his father any greater. He just needed a different measure of himself.

  10. A milestone, indeed! A bittersweet one. But, still. A marker that he's growing up and branching out. 🙂
    The thing is I'll bet he'll still like you best. Mothers hold a special place in the hearts of sons. That's what I tell myself, anyway.

  11. Great post. As a Dad, I understand. I thought for sure my wife would be the chosen one to get in the pool at 8:00am, but it was always me! Although, I think it had something to do with the water battles we'd have in the backyard.


  12. So bittersweet.

    I had a very similar experience a couple of weeks ago. I was the only one my youngest ever wanted in her first year of life. Anyone else was just accessory. She wouldn't take bottles; no one else could calm her. She just wanted her mama.

    And then she fell one day and she went to Daddy. And when I reached for her, she put her head on his shoulder.

    And it was amazing to see the bond they had developed. And it was a relief knowing that finally someone could pinch hit for me every now and again. And it was one of the saddest moments I have had in a very long time.


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