I write a lot here about Baby growing up.
How it seems to happen in the small moments. How it is happening so fast. Faster every day.
This weekend… more small moments… more growing up.
Last night, we left her with a babysitter.
No, not the first time that we left her with a babysitter. But, yes, the first time that we left her with a babysitter before bedtime. Fully dressed. Wide awake.
I remember the days when I couldn’t even leave her in a room alone with anyone – close friends, family, nobody. I remember those days so well I can still hear her heart-breaking baby screams as I tried to dash away for a minute to go to the bathroom.
But last night? Last night she waved at us from a cozy spot on the couch, babysitter to her left, book in hand. “Bye Mommy and Daddy!”
And that was it. None of the crying-clingy-pleading I had come to expect from my little girl. Just a cool, nonchalant, “Bye!”
“She has enough confidence…” my sister assured me via text message, “She knows that she will be ok and you’ll both return.”
Yes. That’s true.
Confidence is what separates baby from little girl.
This morning, at the park, she devised a new game. She called it ‘hide and seek’. I call it ‘run-around-under-the-giant-playground-structure-amid-a-giant-crowd-until-we-find-you.’ For me, terrifying. For her, delightful.
Confidence that she’d be ok running around the giant playground amid at least 4 dozen screaming kids and adults. Confidence that she’d find us again (and she did, every time). Confidence that she could create a new game out of thin air and we’d play until she felt ready to move on (and we did, every time).
Confidence is something I was most worried about instilling in my young girl. I don’t have a lot of it myself. It doesn’t come naturally. It’s not a skill like tying your shoes or writing your name. It can’t be instructed. It must be instilled by example. And I’ve worried about the example I set.
But after this weekend, I’m worrying a little bit less. Somewhere along the way, she is picking up confidence. And now, she’s setting an example for me.