Sunday, July 6, 2008

Separation Anxiety

Well, our little boy is spending a week in Indiana with his surrogate mothers, Aunt Sue and Aunt Cheryl. We live in Michigan but I'm originally from Indiana, and my family all lives there. My sister has often said she would like to keep Casey for a week some summer.

Since he's 9 now and I have to work full-time, it seemed the perfect opportunity to take her up on her offer. After much planning and discussion, Bill and I took advantage of the 4th of July weekend to spend some time with family, get away, and drop the boy off for his week with the loving Aunties.

I tried to prepare him a bit, trying to explain to him about how we would be leaving Sunday to go back to Michigan, but he would be staying with his Aunt Sue. I asked him several times if he would miss me, not really sure if he understood what missing someone means, and telling him that I would miss him a lot. I was sorta dredding the whole thing despite the fact that I would have a week of time to get my work done and a lot of other things, and having "time to myself" as everyone kept telling me, while he was safe and having fun basking in the attention of several mothering type relatives.

I never really feel put out by Casey. I never really think about having time to myself. I enjoy him so much, I enjoy taking care of him, I enjoy being there for him and his needs. The whole concept of having "time to myself" seems almost selfish.

So, we began packing up our stuff this afternoon, a bit of a dark cloud hanging over my head, not looking forward to our goodbye. Aunt Sue made him a schedule of things they were going to do after we left which he was quite satisfied with, and started his Wii game time before we left. I had to force him to come and see us off, giving him a big hug and kiss, Bill doing the same.

My last site of him was standing on the step behind Sue, arms draped around her neck, and Sue bragging on how she was going to get the loving now that I was out of the picture! I felt better...clearly he was secure in our leaving and his being with Aunt Sue, but clearly, he wasn't overly upset at our leaving.

He did shout as we were walking out the door "Bye, see you next Saturday" which is exactly what I told him would happen. Knowledge is power for Casey, and it makes him feel secure, just like the schedules. I guess when you know what's going to happen, there's no need for dramatics, at least in his world.

As for me, it was strange and surreal not having him in the car with us on the way back. I was able to read and nap which I don't usually do, and sit in the front, which I never do on trips. When we got home, it was really sad going by his little room and not seeing him in there. Dad has mentioned twice how very weird it is not having him here.

I called to tell him goodnight and he sounded sleepy and happy after his bath in his Aunt's giant garden tub. I guess I will go to sleep happy he is being well taken care of and look forward to that "time to myself".