I just posted a little bit about this on the Urban Mamas site -- a great resource for mamas in PDX. But i feel like elaborating about it more on my own forum. The honey chile just got back from "Grandma and Grandpa Bootcamp". Despite the militaristic-sounding title, it is a great 'summer camp' for the kiddo. For the past two summers, she has spent close to three weeks in the South Dakota sun, following Papa Bryan and Gramma Darla around through their busy lives. This year she got to spend a lot of time with her baby cousin too, since my sis is living in their town. Some days she does nothing more than color and make a mess in the corner of Papa's office; other days are filled with kid-related outings -- swimming pools, bike rides, sugar, cowgirl hats and lots of kisses.
But there is also some discipline going on. While i spend most of the year juggling being the disciplinarian and the nurturer, they have the time and the dual-personitude to tag team the two roles. So by the time she got back this time, she was taking time outs a little more seriously, reducing the number of daily freakouts, and learning what "compromise" means. These are things i work on with her all the time, but with two of them at it at once, they were able to accomplish a little more in a short amount of time.
It is refreshing and amazing to see how much a kid can learn in just three weeks. How their voices change. How they look a little taller and their hair hangs a little farther down their backs. How they hug you like they're never going to let go, not this time! But after reading the blogs on Urban Mamas, i realize i am giving her a much longer leash than other mamas do. Partly because of my single status, and partly because it's in me. While some mamas lose it when their child is gone for the night, i say bring it on. It gives her a chance to interact with other people and be comfortable as a chameleon, and it gives me a chance to be something other than freaky stressed out mama. While other mamas cling tight, i let her spread her wings.
Except now that she's been back for a few days, she's gone again. This time to her dad's. Now here my contrariness comes out. For all my talk of letting her take flight -- i want her back in the nest. I miss her.