Last week I took the minis to Marbles, the interactive children's museum in downtown Raleigh. They climbed a giant pirate ship, explored a vegetable and flower garden, built cars to roll down a huge track, played on a mini hockey rink, climbed a small climbing wall, dressed in various career outfits and played in fire trucks....on an on! Makes me tired all over again!
About the time we were finishing up at the building cars and racing them, mini#2 lost us. I say that because I saw him the entire time. However, he did not see mini#1and me behind him. I watched him head over to the over sized legos so we followed him. He kept going. I turned a corner (one large area with 3 smaller play areas) and didn't see him so I knew he was not exploring as I first believed and that he was running at that point. I ran. Around the next display I spotted him standing next to the railings, two hands on the bars slightly above his head and he was crying looking down for us on the floor below. Animal "mommy" instinct kicked in and I screamed his name because, seeing him in anguish, sunk my heart instantly. I wanted to end his pain as quickly as I could! As a mother, I ached for him as much as he ached for me. He turned at hearing his name, recognized it was me and ran over to me as quickly as his little legs would carry him. I sank down and hugged him for dear life reassuring him he was ok and that I would never leave him. Selfishly, I relished in his love and dependence on me. It reassured me that I'm needed. You just never know how long that will last with children and, I suspect, with boys in particular. We hugged and hugged and I had to give him the "what to do if you're lost speech," but assured him I saw him and was coming to him. We dried his tears and then this unpleasant experience appeared to be a distant memory for him as he discovered the hockey rink and started playing again. I, on the the other hand, stood there for a long time watching him play hoping I could always take away his fears in life or, the very least, give him loving arms to cry in when needed.