Have I mentioned before how attached Livi is to her Daddy? It is an amazing thing to see, the joy she gets when she sees his face. The adorable way she crawls over to him and pulls herself up onto his lap (even if a mere eighth of a second later she wants back down), her pure delight in being in his arms or seeing his face. I am so thankful for that special bond. We’ve all heard of Daddy’s girls, so it should come as no surprise. On top of that, Jeff got to be Livi’s primary caregiver for 2 months this summer, which created an extremely strong attachment.
While I recognize how special their relationship is, and truly am thankful for it, I confess that every day my heart gets re-broken. It has been fun for me to get to pick Olivia up from Nayelle’s, because as soon as the door opens my sweet daughter reaches for me. It does a mama’s heart good to know her baby knows her and wants her. In the past I have actually wondered if my sweet girl knew I was her mama and not Nayelle. We spend pretty much exactly the same number of waking hours with her each week. Yes, yes, I know that babies just KNOW their mothers. Can you blame me, though, for wondering how she can tell a difference sometimes? (that is a rhetorical question ;)
When I drop Olivia off in the mornings it’s usually no big deal. “See ya later Mom, I’m gonna go play now.” And there goes a little crack in my heart. (Here is a terrible confession. This week she has cried twice when I left her, and while it doesn't make me happy that she is sad, and in fact it makes me not want to leave and my heart is heavy as I walk to the truck, a little piece of me feels satisfied. What kind of horrible mother am I??) Then, when we arrive home from work, Olivia sees her Daddy and squirms in my arms until he grabs her. “Let me go, Mom, I want my Daddy.” Crack. We all play for a while until it’s time for milk. I take her upstairs where we won’t be distracted while she has her milk, and she cries because I’m taking her from her Daddy. Crack. If it’s Daddy’s turn to make dinner he heads to the kitchen and Olivia and I are left on the floor playing. She cries. He’s right across the room, yet she still wants to be with him instead of me. Crack. So my delight at the father-daughter bond dims a bit. And the tears hover in my eyes. I want to say “Can’t you feel, baby girl, how much I love you? Don’t you know what I do for you every day? I’m the one who wants to be with you all day, every day. I’m the one who gives you 100% of my attention. I’m the one who takes care of all the little things for you. Mama’s are supposed to be the most loved.” (Indeed I realize this is unfair to Jeff and Daddy's everywhere!) And the selfishness of my thoughts crack my heart a bit more.
I’ve heard these attachments change many times over the lives of our children. Maybe there will be a day when she comes running to me when I open the door. Maybe there will be a day when she won’t let go of my pant leg while we go about our night. I long for that change. I don’t want Jeff to feel what I feel, but I DO want to feel what he feels. What if that doesn't happen, though? How will I guard my heart so the cracks don't get to it. Can I pretend to not be bothered. In time will I be bothered less? I am jealous. Selfish. Childish. As many times as I tell myself that, as often as I try to “get over it” the cracks still find their way to my heart. Every day. I try to be strong. I’m afraid my heart may shatter soon.
Now to lighten things up, check out this cutie patootie!