in june 2010, our lives got turned upside down in the best possible way: the birth of our awesome kiddo, john. in october 2013, brother charlie charged into our life to change the status quo again. and june 2016 brought us brother ben to round out our trio.

i'm proud to have "mom" at the top of the list of titles on my resume, but i'm also still a hard-working professional. how does a working mom juggle work and family? ride along with me and see if i can figure it out!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

the shadow

"so here's the thing, mom ..."
i have recently begun to notice a stage of development in john that i had never considered before: the beginning of fear of abstract constructs in the world around him. like every toddler, he's been startled by a loud noise, or frightened by a dog with its nose in his face, or shaken up by a decent fall. but all of those are distinct, concrete things to fear.

sunday night, our whole family was hanging out in the living room. john didn't want to sit with me, he was having an all-about-daddy moment. as he leaped from my lap to daddy's arms, he caught a glimpse of movement outside our back window.

"what was that?" john asked.

i hadn't seen anything, so i let my husband answer him.

"it was just a shadow, john," said daddy.

"but what was that?" john asked again.

"i don't know, but it was just a shadow," daddy patiently explained.

this was very concerning to john. a look of dismay bordering on fear passed over his face, and he clung tight to my husband's neck.

"the shadow come get me ..." he said in a slightly awe-struck, notably discomfited voice.

my husband hugged him tight. "no, baby," he whispered. "the shadow won't get you. you're safe in your house with your mommy and daddy and doggy."

said doggy, though, wanted to go outside to relieve himself, so my husband opened the back door, and john's nervousness escalated to near panic. "no, daddy! the shadow get buddy! the shadow come get me!"

so we huddled together by the door and watched buddy patrol the yard, assuring john that he was protected and safe from any shadows. and when buddy came back inside unscathed, john was much reassured, and soon went off to play with his toys.

but that whole experience left a mark on me. i know, this beautiful child can't -- and shouldn't -- stay fearless forever. there really ARE shadows out there that could be threats. and the realization that there is darkness sometimes lurking outside our doors is actually a good one for a kiddo to have, as long as we're able to teach him to live carefully but not in fear.

i even know that the recognition of abstract concepts like "the shadow" is actually a developmental milestone, of sorts, that his world is become less just the literal things around him and that's a natural part of growing up.

what i didn't know was that it would make me so sad to see our little bug discover the boogie man. it's one of many steps in the end of his sweet little innocence that i want so badly to preserve.

am i being overdramatic? perhaps. i've been accused of that a time or two. but indulge this mama for a moment as she double-checks the locks so no shadows can come in our home.

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