Thursday, July 12, 2012

Separation Anxiety...Still

To see your child in pain is, well, painful. Knowing that YOU are the cause of that pain is devastating. Even if the pain is caused by a perceived danger that doesn't actually exist, the hurt is still the same, and it's contagious.

 Max was in pain this morning. Not physical pain, but pure emotional anguish...and I caught it.

It happened at daycare drop-off. Despite the potential distraction of Bubble Man, with his music and dance and bubbles (all things Max loves), the moment I passed Max to Miss Erica I saw it. The arms outstretched. The turned down corners of the mouth. The eyes darting frantically. I briefly leaned in for a comforting kiss, but it was the kiss of death (so to speak).

In that moment Max knew. He knew he was being left behind with a woman he adored, but wasn't Mommy. He knew I was abandoning him. His face turned brilliant red. His eyes poured tears. His mouth opened wide in an agonized scream.

I could feel it coming. It appeared first in my stomach and moved almost instantly to my chest. The pain was intense. Involuntarily, the tears came in sheets, and I fled. If I didn't leave at that moment the pain would continue for both of us. But I knew that within just a few minutes Max would pull it back together and his happy self would once again emerge.

Sure enough, an hour later Miss Erica called to tell me that two minutes after I left Max was laughing, dancing and popping bubbles.

That's my boy!

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