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Aug 24

Seriously – do we ever stop second guessing ourselves as parents?

Or is it just me? I’m constantly questioning just about everything.

Case in point – Jessica Mary. She’s seven and a half, going into second grade. Very bright, very thoughtful and growing more and more independent. She went to Maine earlier this summer with my mother and sister for three days without me, and I agonized over it. Was she old enough to go that long without me? Would she be homesick and lonely? Could I go that long without her little face? But I did it – and she had the time of her life, loved every single second of it and only came home reluctantly when the entire family left, asked to stay for the extra two days after I was leaving.

Then we decided to go to Storyland in NH last weekend. My friend Annie (mother of everyone’s best friend Glennys) has a house up there, and was going up on Thursday. She invited Jess to go – and Jessie jumped at the chance. Going up three days early, and staying two days after we left. Again – happy as a clam, loving life, getting a little extra vacation before school starts, long lazy days playing with her best friend…

But I’m at home, missing her like I lost my left hand. And wondering if she feels pushed aside and unloved, like I’m paying too much attention to Julianna and now she doesn’t want to be at home anymore. Like she’s thinking that I’ve got a new baby daughter and there’s no need for her to stay with me. Which is rationally crazy – she’s just getting bigger. More independent – and that’s what I want. I want her bold and brave, and confident. But I can’t just relax and enjoy this new-found growth – I’m wondering if I’m doing something wrong as her mother, somehow pushing her out of the nest before she’s ready. Then I try and mentally get a hold of myself – after all, she’s not going off to Uganda – she’s spending time with my sister and mother, and with my best friend. She’s well cared for, with people she’s known for years. She’s happy and content, and it’s because she’s so secure and confident that she’s able to feel safe and loved with a variety of people.

All I know is that I’m sleeping a LOT better tonight with my little girl back under my roof.

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