On Tuesday night, the kids and I drove part of the way to my parents’ house, then stopped for a play break at a McDonald’s while we waited for my husband to get out of work so we could continue our journey.
While we were there two families came in with kids; all six kids were friends and older than Mini-ion #1.
Both of the mini-ions are really social when it comes to other children, so I wasn’t surprised to see the delight in their eyes to see these children come in, Mini-ion #1 immediately began to try to play with him. Unfortunately they all started running away from him. He called out to them, “I’m friendly”, but still they all run away. It got to be all of them hiding in the play set pointing and laughing at him, with him outside looking in at them.
My heart was breaking. How could you do this to my baby? Don’t you see how wonderful and sweet he is? My heart started running through scenarios, what could I do to protect him? Meanwhile my brain was fighting back, “you can’t protect him forever”.
All of a sudden, Mini-ion #1 took matters into his own hands, ran up to them and gave his mightiest roar! Amongst giggles and screams, he started chasing them around the play space.
This went on for the better part of twenty minutes. I was so proud of how Mini-ion #1 recovered the situation, way better than I could figure out how to do. It was another great reminder to give them space to try to work it out, understanding that if it had gone badly, I would have been there to pick up the pieces.
I hate this part of parenting. The trusting of other children to be nice to my mini-ions. The trusting of my mini-ions to recover from heartbreak. It is so HARD to not try to protect them from every situation. To allow them the space to get hurt and make mistakes. Luckily they are still at an age where a snuggle helps solve everything. And I’m planning on getting every snuggle I can.