Okay, I'm not really letting go yet, but yesterday and today have been a test of sorts for this Mama. Yesterday, the kids spent the day at Aunt Lori's at the lake. I had some painting to do at the lake, and they were more than thrill to "play" with Aunt Lori. Still, I had some anxiety. Gone all day, them not at home or the farm and out of my sight...by a HUGE body of water. Will they be okay? We went over all the safety rules, especially...you do NOT go to the lake without Aunt Lori being with you! (and they're both very good about obeying rules if they pertain to potential danger). And Lori raised three lovely, well adjusted young adults and I trust her completely, so what was the problem?
Well, the kids had a great time. They even got to talk to Cousin Andrew in Iraq while they were at the cabin...he called to talk to his mom, and the kids also got the benefit of speaking with him. And best of all, she wore them out completely! Susanna didn't want to leave. She actually fought both Lori and me when we tried to put her in the van...I've never seen her actually go spread eagle to prevent herself from being put somewhere, but yesterday she did! She promptly fell asleep on the way home! When we got home, she immediately started crying, "I miss Aunt Lowi!" As soon as I told her we would call so she could talk to her, Susi was all giggles and smiles...and happy for the rest of the evening since she got to talk to Aunt "Lowi" on the telephone!
Today, Luke was invited to his first non-family birthday party. Simone is a little girl from Sunday School; her father grew up with Tony (a year older) and I've heard a number of stories from his growing up that would make any mother's hair turn white (in fact, go to Jane's blog, look at her "picture," and you can see just what raising a boy like that can do!). Seriously, though, we enjoy them and over the years had a couple of their kids working for us.
I hesitated at first...Tony and I are both working during the party, so neither of us would be there to supervise Luke, make sure he doesn't get out of control with excitement (which can and HAS happened!). But Simone's mom assured me it was no problem; in fact, she'd even pick him up for the party since I was going in to work at the Market. It should be okay...after all, Simone is the youngest of seven...she should be able to handle him (I make it sound like he's terrible...he really isn't! I'm just anticipating the worst.)
Luke was on cloud nine. Then, he had a bit of a hesitation. Since this is the first "friend" birthday party, I decided to start a precident right here and now. I told him to get his bank...we were going to take some money from the "store" part of his bank to buy Simone a present. What? Take HIS money? And spend it on someone ELSE? I explained that we would also give him some money for the present, but if he was going, HE was buying the present! I further explained that if Simone would come to his house for HIS birthday, wouldn't he want her to bring him a present? That got thru! (I think we're going to have to invite some friends to his next birthday party....) And off to Family Dollar we went! We had fun looking for something special for Simone within his budget ($6). And he was very thoughtful in what to get for her. In the end, Simone will be getting a beautiful bouquet of artificial purple flowers, a pink princess mirror in the shape of a crown, and a lovely black velvet purse with a sparkly Tinkerbell on it. He nixed the idea of hair do-dads, quite adament that what he picked out is what she would like. He topped everything off with a dinosaur birthday card. And when he laid everything on the counter, handed the cashier the money, and received the change from his purchase, I had alot of pride in my little man...and a little sadness as I watch him grow up and start doing things on his own.
But then I reminded myself...he's only four. I still get to do things for him. And let go in bits and pieces so that he can become the man God intends him to be.
Now if I can only deal with a little girl who is already insisting that she go back to Aunt Lowi's today.....she is dressed like a "fairy" in a very gauzy, see-through cloth she normally uses as a "bride's hat" with a crown on her head and pink and blue underwear! She cracked us up this morning when Tony asked her a question and she replied with the words, "It's complicated." Oh, are we ever in for a handful (and lots of laughs) as she continues to grow up!