The trip to Colorado turned out to be a roaring success. Wenxin's confidence grew by leaps and bounds as he tried new things and basked in the undivided love of both parents.
Our conference ended Tuesday night with a big outdoor celebration. We got plates of snacks and settled in at a table with friends. All of the sudden, Wenxin lit up and shouted, "I see one of my teachers! Can I go say Hi?" And off he went. He ran across the crowded lawn and gave his teacher a big hug. This is the same kid who only a few days earlier, clung to my leg and mumbled loudly, "I hate everybody in this place."
He told me later, "Mom, I really liked Kids Camp. I think I just had to get used to it."
Next, he spotted one of his new friends. Soon, he and a bunch of other eight year old boys were wrestling and racing and break dancing.
One of our friends noted, "Dana, it's been over 30 minutes and he hasn't checked-in with you."
We'd shared with a lot of friends at the conference that one of the most exhausting things about my life these days is that Wenxin has to check-in with me about once every five minutes. He'll play with his siblings or friends, but every five minutes or so he runs back and gives me a hug, or a little kiss, or tells me he loves me. . . You get the picture. It's sweet, but after a while, it's exhausting. It's like he has to make sure I'm still there.
But that night at the party, he forgot about checking-in with me. He was in his element and having a blast! The kid has some moves. You should've seen him dance.
However, arriving home in Florida the next day, all the progress we'd seemed to make in Colorado simply evaporated. Re-entry has been rough. Wenxin is clingy and jealous. He obviously resents having to share us with his siblings. It's discouraging.
We've had two days of tears. Mostly Wenxin's - but some from the other kids. And he's checking in again - constantly. The other kids are checking in a lot too -- they haven't seen me for 10 days and they want to catch up. I read once that "being a mom is like being pecked to death by chickens." That pretty much describes my last two days.
I'm still impressed by how much the other kids give him grace. Yesterday, he cried all morning. I'd had it. I felt like I needed some time with Nathan so I offered to take him out to lunch while Mike stayed with Wenxin and the girls. It's something we've talked about doing all summer.
After a few moments, Nathan came back and said, "Mom, I don't feel right about going without Wenxin. Would it be OK if I invited him to go with us?" I tried to let Nathan know that he didn't have to feel guilty about special time just for him. But he insisted. And he was probably right. We had fun eating and hanging out -- just Mom and the boys -- for a couple of hours. Wenxin relaxed and enjoyed being a brother.
The Chains Fall Off
5 hours ago