My Gram used to tell a story about one of my uncles.
He had expressed his desire to join the military, even though he was legally underage. He stopped talking to her, in traditional teenager temper-tantrum form, and would direct all of his questions to Gram through his siblings.
Gram's boss noticed she was distracted at work and asked what was bothering her. She shared the situation; to which her boss asked, in his oh-so-pragmatic-voice, "So what's the problem?" She began to hem and haw and "Well.....well...," herself out of actual giving an answer as to why she didn't want her son to go into the military.
After a long pause her boss asked, "Anne?"
"Do you have a scissors in your drawer?"
"Yes." (she pulls it out).
"Good. USE IT."
Later that night, during dinner, my uncle asks his brother, "Please ask Mom to pass the peas."
She passes the peas and says, "Please tell your brother I signed his service papers today."
It wasn't until I was eye to eye with a 4-pack of fruit cups that I realized I too have apron strings.
I know it sounds strange. Fruit cups? Yep. Most of the time the messes created at mealtimes don't bother me. There are few foods that bring out my sensory issues: oatmeal, the residue from cinnamon cereals, and fruit in syrup. Blech. Somehow, I started draining the canned fruit AJ eats before cutting it into pieces (when needed). I've avoided buying the fruit cups for a long time, for fear of the syrup. And forget putting them into AJ's school lunches. Oh no, we can't have that.
These little suckers seemed to be haunting me. I debated and debated. And then I bought them. After owning up to my tight-tight apron strings. The only way he's going to learn is by exposure. Believe me, I've already applied this theory to many other situations that my brain debates constantly.
It isn't about the fruit cups, ya know. While I consider myself as AJ's advocate, even I have faults and apron strings. Its been a few weeks since I began this post and I'm happy to report that AJ is doing just fine with his fruit cups a la syrup. He's also showed us that he is able to climb in and out of his carseat, safely, all by himself.
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to join Jeremy on a weekend trip a few hours from our home. I initially decided not to go, for fear AJ would not do well with us being gone again after his rough reaction to our Hawaii trip. I decided to go. In addition, I did not write my in-laws a 12-page detailed instruction list. I gave them the basics (which they are already familiar with) for morning and evening routines and then, are you ready, wrote the words "HAVE FUN!" in the middle section of the single page of directions. Oh, and I hand wrote it-it was not typed. I think that deserves some sort of control freak brownie-points or something. I enjoyed the weekend and guess what, AJ had a blast with his grandparents. Another string snipped.
He's growing up so fast. And I'm doing my best to let him.