Sunday, August 15, 2010
As my own mother flies out today to be with her mother, my grandma, I remember a phrase that I heard over and over and over last week at work:
“I WANT MY MOMMY!”
You see, last week was the first day of school for our little ones at the elementary where I work. There is always at least one child screaming this ancient phrase straight from the gut.
Also being a mommy myself, I know that a little separation anxiety incites pretty strong emotion for everyone in the vicinity. My heart went out to the mom trying to pry her 6 year old son off of her body as she made her way out the door. This boy’s father just deployed for another tour in Iraq. He had moved with his mom to a brand new (military) town and was attending a brand new school.
“He never did this in kindergarten! I don’t know why he is doing this now!” The mother kept saying apologetically.
“Well, there’s been a lot of change lately,” I murmured, looking down at this boy – he was in panic mode, and I was assessing the situation.
I looked at the mom and told her, “When you are ready to go, we will be ready, and I’m sure he’ll calm down soon after you leave.”
The counselor and I braced for the fit that was sure to come as the mom left.
Needless to say, this little 6 year old had the energy for one, big, giant fit. And we were with him the whole way. We waited as long as it took, offering reassurances here and there as he cried over and over, “I want my mommy!”
I would quietly rub his back and say, “I know. I know it’s hard. You will see your mommy after school.”
About an hour later, he was ready to go to class and he’s been fine ever since. The counselor called the mom at home to let her know that he was fine and in class.
(All those mommies out there, you KNOW that mom breathed a big sigh of relief and thought, “Thank God!” Because a happy child with his butt in school makes for a happy mommy, right?)
Well, this is not the hardest case of separation anxiety I have dealt with before, and I’m sure it will not be the last. Sometimes I have a bit of separation anxiety myself. Sometimes I want MY mommy.
There’s just nothing quite being with your mom to help you feel like everything is going to be alright.