Attached

I am not a person prone to anxiety, I don’t think. 

But Dane and I have planned a trip that’s coming up. We briefly discussed taking the little man with us, but were told it wasn’t possible. We were then told it might have been possible, but we had already lined up respite care and informed all the various involved parties and just thought it would be entirely too complicated.

I am now having like a complete and total freak-out about this situation.

I think it’s kind of a cliche for first-time parents to lose their minds the first time they leave their child for any period of time. I realize this. I realize that I am being a cliche. 

But what they fail to tell you in sitcoms and punchlines directed at crazy first-time parents is that they TOTALLY HAVE A POINT, in a way.

Especially, you see, when the child in question is a) nonverbal and b) already has been in 3 different homes with 3 different “permanent” caregivers and may well be moved again in the not-so-distant future.

Because I know it made a difference when he was moved at 2 months old, but he didn’t really know it. I know it made a difference when he was moved again at 3 1/2 months old, but he didn’t really know it.

Well, he knows us now. He squeals “YAAAY!” and literally jumps up and down when we come in from having been gone, or when I walk into his room in the morning. He’ll know that we’re gone, but he won’t understand “they’re coming back.”

And I don’t even know how long one week IS to an almost-one-year-old. Is it eternity? Is it long enough to completely forget someone? So that he’ll get used to the respite family and then it’ll be like ANOTHER complete upheaval when we get back?

I know what you’re thinking: “Girl, you need to figure this nonsense out, because if you can’t leave him for one week, what do you expect to do if he goes home or to a relative permanently?”

But you see, that’s just it, isn’t it? If he has already been moved twice, and if he is going to be moved again at like 18-ish mo old, I feel a very heavy responsibility to give him as much stability and permanency as I possibly can, as long as I can.

I know that this would be hard if he was our bio kid and we were keeping him forever and ever, but it’s totally not the same when I already wonder about healthy attachment all the time since we got him later than birth, and I REALLY wonder about healthy attachment if he is going to be moved again.

Have any of you ever gone on trips without little ones? How did it go? Please tell me stories about how they squealed and hugged your neck when you got back. Except also tell me true things, whatever they are. 

I know anxious posts aren’t as fun to read, but this is part of it, y’all. I promised to share.

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5 comments on “Attached
  1. Christy says:

    I really wish you could have brought him! Mads would looooove him. I think it is perfectly reasonable to be anxious about how he will do for a week without you. That means you have done a great job helping him build attachments. He will probably miss you and may not sleep quite as well and be a little out of sorts, even when you get back in town. However, because you have helped him learn how to build attachments, he will be able to learn how to be comforted by his respite family and be reassured when you come home. No lies, for Madeleine’s first year, I was working full time and it was tough to drop her at a sitter all day/four days a week knowing that it would take time to build an attachment to this new person. When we switched to a new sitter at 10 months, she was able to attach a little faster and find a rhythm there as well. I think its healthy to learn that when she is faced with a new situation, she can learn to trust that there will be someone there she can trust to love her and care for her.

  2. Kimberly says:

    Are you already on your trip, Abbey?

    • No, not yet. Just preparing…

      • Kimberly says:

        As a girl that’s been away from her daughter too much, I could ‘suade you the other way. But, do that which God is leading you to do. He knows all of your details and your little man’s details!! (That’s the danger in giving advice: the advisor doesn’t know the details or the situation like you do (let alone as God does).)

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