27 March 2011

growing up

Today's moment is actually two, but they had the same impact on me.

First, there is Yonah's insistence on using the boy bathroom all by himself.  We've agreed that he is allowed to do this at the church only.  This might be a bit hypocritical since the same sort of people probably use the bathroom in a store, but at the church there is pretty much always someone I know and trust around who can keep an eye on him for me.  Today he only mentioned as he passed me that he was going to the bathroom.  I followed and hung out in the hallway waiting for him, but it struck me that I only did so because it was end-of-service crowded.  If it had been less busy, I wouldn't have been bothered much by the idea of his going completely by himself.

Second, at Carl's Jr., he hurried through his lunch and went to play in the playground.  After checking out the environment (mostly making note of the few kids/adults in the area) I felt absolutely no need to do more than casually keep tabs on where he was - and that really only to ascertain that he had not wandered out of the play area.

His maturity level now is such that I trust him to be wholly independent like that in certain (safe) circumstances, and to come to me immediately if he ever feels uncomfortable.  I'd never consciously thought about this before, and it blew me away a little bit to realize just how big he is getting.  He sure isn't my baby boy anymore.  I just hope I am able to manage that crucial balance between allowing him to practice spreading his wings and protecting him from dangers he doesn't see or fully understand.

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