A thing happened today that has never happened before.
For the first time since Kiran has come into my life, while I have been physically with him, I let go.
Usually, when I am with Kiran and someone else wants to get their hands on him, I am never able to fully let go of the responsibility. I am hyper-aware of his location at all times. I am aware of the hair-grabbing, the slobber running down his chin, the loud noises he makes. I feel like I still need to be in charge. I feel like I have to run interference. I feel like I have to be responsible for every action.
Now that I think about it – I feel that I have to be sure the person holding him is okay. Is comfortable with him.
I attend church pretty regularly with my people, and even during the service when Kiran is passed from lap to lap, I have never been able to fully let go. I am always shushing him, aware of when he has someone’s hair in his slobbery hand, asking if they want me to take him.
He is my responsibility. He is mine. I am the mom.
Today, I was able to let go. I handed Kiran off, and I was able to relax into my seat and engage with the sermon. I was conscious of it happening. I literally said to myself “It’s okay. He has him. Kiran does not have to be your responsibility every second.”
And I knew it was true. Kiran was in the lap of someone who loves him, who I trust with his care (This statement is true of so few people.)
I let go.
I am proud of myself. This was a huge step forward in the name of self-care for me. I am taking other important steps forward lately – some important ones this week, even. It has taken me over two and a half years, but I am realizing the importance of also caring for me in all of this.
I am learning to accept help – even ask for it – in ways I haven’t been able to until recently. I am learning to acknowledge the guilt I feel for taking bits of time for me – but do it anyway. I am learning that every moment doesn’t have to be scripted and therapy-approved and working toward some ultimate developmental goal – that it is okay to just giggle and read books and blow bubbles (without all the added “have-to’s” I always throw in from therapy).
I am learning, in small but important ways, to let go.