My daughter spent the night with friends last week while we attended a 90th birthday celebration for my wife’s grandmother in the city.
It was Clara’s first overnight stay with someone other than her grandparents, and she had a great time. The girl who once wailed when we left her with a babysitter has certainly grown accustomed to our temporary departures. She barely took a moment to say goodbye to us as we were leaving, and she cried when I picked her up the next morning. She did not want to leave.
For a while, I was feeling a little replaceable. Though I was happy that she was happy while we were apart, a little more excitement upon seeing me in the morning would have been nice. Instead I received tears, a minor tantrum and pleas to be left behind.
Then my friends sent me this photo of Clara and their daughter, waiting by the window for Daddy to arrive, and I felt a little better.
Parenting is a double-edged sword. You want your children to become independent and self reliant, but you don’t want them to be become too independent too soon.