I am participating in the 31 Days of Free Writes October challenge. This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation. (Confession: I *may* not be able to resist spell-checking!)
Today’s prompt: Remain
Meet Spike (above). Spike is a rhino Beanie Baby still wrapped in the protective packaging he came in.
When my son (now 18) was little, his security objects tended to be gray fluffy things — I remember an elephant, a dolphin (Dolphin was a legend in our family!), and Spike. I was very happy when Spike became a thing specifically because he was a standard Beanie Baby that could be easily replaced if Spike #1, 2 or 3 went missing (as was likely to happen).
I still find replacement Spikes here and there around the house (but I think the one pictured is the last one I bought). I found this Spike when I was cleaning out my closet (a very long overdue task) during Hurricane Irma in mid-September. I’m still working on it (although my forward momentum really took a hit once the power came back on and I could get back to the Internet and the rest of my life.)
It’s so interesting to me how the security objects remain physically in my life long after my son’s need for them has moved on.
My children are so different from one another, and now that I see him taking on his freshman year of college, in a new town, I really wonder if I knew him that well at all.
We often second-guess our parenting choices, I know — and I know ultimately I can be confident that the choices I made – the “right” ones and the “wrong” ones – were done from a deep well of love.
But with an empty nest, it’s difficult not to reflect on what could have been different from the perspective of seeing them function independently in the world.
What remains is the fact that as a mom, I still make an effort to provide security and help him develop his own sense of emotional security, even though it’s a lot harder than having a backup Beanie Baby in the closet.
Wife of one, Mom of two, Friend of many. My pronouns are she/her/hers.